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  1. Roy Conli talks to Collider about his involvement in Kingdom Hearts III

    Executive Disney film producer Roy Conli was recently interviewed by Collider about certain films he's produced, films he's currently producing, the possibility of a Big Hero 6 sequel, and, of course, his involvement in Kingdom Hearts III.

    He mentions how he's very impressed with the Kingdom Hearts III team and how they're so focused on quality. He also reiterates that the Big Hero 6 story in the game will be a new one. And he brings up how he's identified as Xehanort now.

    View the full quote below:

    ― Were you guys involved in Kingdom Hearts 3? Did you give a lot of guidance?

    Conli: I’m actually working a lot on that, yeah. I’ve been very impressed with that team. They are so focused on quality. One of the things that we really, definitely with the ‘Big Hero 6′ story, we really felt that it was great opportunity to recreate a new story, as opposed to fitting into the story that was there. It gave them an opportunity to be a little more open with their storytelling. We’ve been working on it and really talking about character and how character works within the structure. It’s been a delight, other than the fact that I’m identified as Lord Xehanort now.

    ― [Laughs] What?

    Conli: There’s a villain, apparently, in Kingdom Hearts that has the same goatee that I sport, so I have been aligned with Lord Xehanort, which I’m somewhat proud of.

    ― Well you don’t seem villainous at all.

    Conli: Watch out for those guys.

    There's more in this interview than Kingdom Hearts III, so if you're interested, check out the full interview here!

  2. Kingdom Hearts III featured in October issue of PlayStation Official Magazine UK

    The PlayStation Official Magazine UK has published a feature on Kingdom Hearts III on its October issue, commenting on the latest news on its development.

    The spread focused on the inclusion of a Toy Story world in the game and aspects of the gameplay so far, as revealed in the D23 trailer released last month. It also summarizes some facts about the game, such as that it will be the last title of the "Dark Seeker Saga," and that Big Hero 6 was the last Disney movie chosen to be a part the game, and hence all other movies released after 2014 will not be in it.

    You can view scans of the feature thanks to KH13 Social Media Team Leader Andrew Hankinson.

    Image uploaded from IOS (6) Image uploaded from IOS (7) Image uploaded from IOS (8) Image uploaded from IOS (9) Image uploaded from IOS (10) Image uploaded from IOS (11) Scan Scan 2

    Give it a read and tell us what you think!

  3. Kingdom Hearts III featured in Game Informer's September 2017 issue

    In the latest issue of Game Informer, Kimberley Wallace wrote a feature giving a summary of information of Kingdom Hearts III from interviews held after the Toy Story trailer reveal at D23 Expo 2017.

    The feature includes comments made by series director Tetsuya Nomura during his interview with Game Informer published in July. While talking about the Toy Story trailer, Nomura discussed the plot and gameplay of the Toy Story level and the return of Gummi Ships.

    The second part of the feature includes unpublished answers from Game Informer’s interview with Nomura, where he expressed the production team’s enthusiasm in using current-generation technology in Kingdom Hearts III.

    “With Kingdom Hearts III, I feel like we were able to recreate the world of the original CG film pieces close to its original quality in terms of its graphics and the look of the different worlds. Up until then, we created the worlds so that it looks like it is a stylized Kingdom Hearts world, but now with Kingdom Hearts III, we were able to depict the world of the original film close to its original form as possible.”

    “The staff members on our development team always want to try something new, so even with previously introduced mechanics, they always try to make it their own or tweak it. Even if it is small or minor, we customize it so it’s for Kingdom Hearts III.”

    Nomura talked once again about Athletic Flow, the parkour-like mechanics showcased in Kingdom Hearts III trailers that allows Sora to interact with the environment. He also hinted at the return of Aqua, Terra, Ventus, and Roxas.

    “There was some feedback that it [Flowmotion in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance] was too free and hard to manage, maybe because the title was on a handheld device. So I wanted to make it so that there’s the ability to control it properly. It’s basically revamped and introduced as a new mechanic in Kingdom Hearts III. You’ll be utilizing the environment to propel yourself to an area that you’re not normally able to go to, or again, running up the cliff during battle. Those can be expected in each of the different worlds you’ll be traversing through.

    “The motivation for Sora and his allies’ journey in Kingdom Hearts III is to help those people who met a tragic ending such as Terra, Ventus, Aqua, and Roxas, and to rescue them from that tragedy. How they relate to the narrative, and if we were to reveal any sort of information about that, it would probably spoil everything.”

    You can read more about Atheletic Flow and Roxas’s return in Nomura’s previous interview with IGN.

    The first two pages of the article can be previewed below. Thanks to KH13 community member Alexandra Risner for the scans.

    Screen Shot 2017 08 17 At 21.35.09 Screen Shot 2017 08 17 At 21.35.17

    If you would like to read the full feature, you can purchase a digital copy of this issue here.

    Have you read the feature yet? What do you make of the world of Toy Story, Athletic Flow, and seeing Roxas and the "Wayfinder trio" again? Let us know in the comments!

  4. Shinji Hashimoto talks fan feedback, possibility of future community events, and Kingdom Hearts III with KHIsland

    KHIsland, in conjunction with FFDream, Finaland, Gamergen, and Gamersflag, have conducted an interview with Kingdom Hearts series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto at MAGIC 2017. During the interview, Hashimoto talked about topics such as the relationship between Disney, whether Marvel Entertainment could have an impact on Kingdom Hearts III, the possibility of adding multiplayer mode in the upcoming game, and communication with fans.

    Below you can read extracts of the interview related to Kingdom Hearts. The full interview can be read here in French.

    Translations have been provided by KH13 staff member Mio–chan.

    ― Will the partnership between Square Enix and Marvel Entertainment have an impact on Kingdom Hearts 3? Will we find bits of the Marvel Universe in it, just like the Disney worlds that already exist in the previous titles of the series?

    Hashimoto: It’s not on the agenda for the moment. However, we may consider it in the future.

    ― Would it be possible to add a multiplayer mode in Kingdom Hearts 3?

    Hashimoto: You should ask this question to Mr. Nomura, he will be most likely to answer this.

    ― Why is this so difficult to communicate and give concrete and precise information on Final Fantasy VII Remake and Kingdom Hearts 3 to the fans?

    Hashimoto: You must know that for each future titles (i.e. FFVII Remake, KH3 etc), there is an established development planning. So we must first consult it to check on the progress of the game, to be able to convey the most interesting and relevant information to the public. To give you an example, many events will take place this year. There is Final Fantasy’s 30th Anniversary event, Final Fantasy VII’s 20th Anniversary event as well as Kingdom Hearts’ 15th Anniversary event. Knowing this, it is obvious that fans are expecting a lot and we wish to show more in order to celebrate all of these events. Regarding Final Fantasy’s 30th Anniversary, we have many events planned in Japan, Final Fantasy XV’s DLCs, Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age Remaster and the new extension of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood. We wish we could give as much information as possible but it is imperative that we have control on the calendar in order, so that we can reveal relevant information at the precise time.

    ― Recently, you organized a special event to celebrate Final Fantasy’s 30th Anniversary in Japan. Can we hope for a similar event in France?

    Hashimoto: Outside Japan, we have two agencies: one in the USA in Los Angeles, and another one in the UK in London, who are in charge to plan and promote these kind of events. Moreover, we already gave concerts pretty much everywhere in the world on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary of Kingdom Hearts: The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour -. It is just an example, but our British and American teams are considering organizing similar events.

    ― Can you tell us about the relationship you have with Disney for the development of Kingdom Hearts 3? Do they have a great influence, can they force you to do certain things or on the contrary block some ideas?

    Hashimoto: First of all, Disney has its own policy and own rules for the management of its movies, video games, and merchandise, etc. We try and at the same time must respect them as far as possible. Otherwise, they give us free reign most of the time. They allow us to create anything we want and Disney generally accepts our ideas, to the extent that it appeals to the fans who support us in our approaches and our ideas.

    ― You have produced a lot of Western licenses in recent years: Hitman, Deus Ex, and Tomb Raider etc. Are western licenses as important as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, or do they only allow Square Enix developed games to last?

    Hashimoto: For Mr. Matsuda (CEO of Square Enix), we must constantly renew and create new games and new licenses. Concerning Final Fantasy, we also seek to innovate while remaining in the spirit of the series. The President is always trying to give us new challenges.

    ― Following the reveal of The Avengers Project by Crystal Dynamics, can we hope to see future games based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but this time developed by the Japanese teams?

    Hashimoto: This partnership is similar to the one we already have with Disney for Kingdom Hearts. Firstly, it is necessary to successfully launch and implement the new licence. If the latter is a success, then perhaps we will follow on. We will wait and see what it is going to do before we do anything else.

    ― You stated that you listen a lot to the fans’ opinions, what are your sources and how do you use those opinions?

    Hashimoto: Nowadays, it is easy to establish a direct contact with the fans thanks to the social media and we can almost answer instantly to many critics. It is also much easier to fix what is wrong in a game via updates. Critics are important and we try to take them into account to satisfy as many people as we can.

    Monaco Anime Game International Conferences (MAGIC) recently took place on February 18, 2017. It was during this event that Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura showed off a screenshot of Sora in his Power Form battling a Heartless in the city of Thebes in Olympus Coliseum. Nomura was also interviewed at the event by FFDream and Famitsu.

    What do you think about Shinji Hashimoto’s answers regarding Kingdom Hearts III? Let us know in the comments below!

  5. Tetsuya Nomura reveals new Kingdom Hearts III details in Dengeki Online interview; discusses tutorial stage, toy robots, and Keyblade transformations

    In a recent interview with Dengeki Online, Kingdom Hearts III director Tetsuya Nomura has revealed more details about the upcoming game. We are currently in the process of translating the article, but in the meantime, here are some translated highlights from the article:

    • Nomura has confirmed that he and the development team are taking a new direction in worlds that won’t have Sora and co. visiting worlds multiple times.
    • Twilight Town is set to be the game’s tutorial stage and will be visited early in the game.
    • Each toy robot in Galaxy Toys will have different mechanics from other toy robots.
    • Nomura also discusses Kingdom Hearts Union x[Cross] but this information has been announced before.
    When more of the article is translated, we will update when possible. In the meantime, if you would like to look at the untranslated page, check it out here.

    Kingdom Hearts III was recently revealed to be coming in 2018.

    Do any of these new details excite you? Let us know in the comments below.

    UPDATE: Translations are now available. You can read the interview below.

    Dengeki: There was a lot of info in the video that was showed a few days ago. But the most impressive was the announcement of the release of the game in 2018.
    Nomura: Because we became really careful about announcing release date, we announced it as a way to show that the game was on its way, even if we only know the year of release.

    You also announced the toy story world that makes its first appearance.
    We wanted to have a toy story world since KH II. Although it was really hard, we managed to add it because during the discussions we couldn't think of a KH III without the Toy Story World. As for the timeline, it's happening after the second movie and will be an original story.

    If you think about Toy Story you think of a toy as the main character, in KH III which character will appear ?
    There will be Woody and Buzz among others, the ones you can see in the video are going to be main characters. The plot is that the other toys have been forced to go with Andy and you have to look for them.

    In order for Sora and his friends to blend in the world they turned into toys isn't it ?
    Getting to that appearance was quite long. We tried to make them look like figurines, or like pixelized characters made into 3D and other varied forms.

    During battle, Woody and Buzz joined Sora, Donald and Goofy. Does that mean that you can have a party of five characters ?
    In the movie you can see all five of them fight together at one point. Depending on the world you can have more than four party characters fighting. You can also link attacks with them but the information about the party composition system will come later.

    While fighting outside of the house, Sora and the others fight at the size of toys and we can really feel the difference in size.
    That size difference is amazing, I wonder until where can we push it? (Laugh) The main objective of the Toy Story world is to reach the Toy Shop. The "Galaxy Toys" shop we can see in the trailer is quite big.

    There are situations where Sora can fight on a robot.
    The idea to have Sora fight while riding a robot was early in the development process. Different robots have different ways of fighting. And different floors will have different gimmicks as well.

    In Olympus there is a battle with a brutal Rock Titan, there seems to be more variation in each element of each world than before.
    We created them while bearing that in mind. In KH 0.2 Birth By Sleep -Fragmentary Passage, it was the same. Every map was built while keeping in mind the three dimensional aspect and the heights. I think it looks like a big city. Compared to KH II, KH III there are less Disney worlds, but we took more time designing them.

    In KH II, once you had completed each world you had to back in each world again. Will it be the same in KH III ?
    Some people liked this and other didn't. It will be different in KH III.

    In the video we can see Sora falling from high heights spread-eagled, is this some kind of special action ?
    It was a way to make the fall more realistic. Depending on what you do at the time, it will do a different move. The weapon change and the outfit will vary based on the keyblade.

    The shapeshift of the keyblade is one of the special features of KH III, This time we could see it change into a drill and a hammer.
    The keyblade can change to a lot of forms, but indeed the drill is ambitious (Laugh).

    The drill and hammer can only be used in the toy story world ?
    It's not limited to that world but it's linked to the keyblade you can obtain from the toy story world. Basically, each keyblade can change into different things. The one from Toy Story can change into a drill or a hammer. Also in KH III, the form system is linked to the keyblade too.

    What do you mean?
    In KH II you changed form during battle, but this time you will change form depending on the keyblade.

    You mean that there are as many forms as there are keyblades ?
    No, each keyblade have its own type influencing it's offensive and defensive potency, and the form will change depending on what type of keyblade you use. Also the Kingdom Key from KH II will make its return and change Sora into his "second form" (Temporary name) that has the same colors as KH II. This form is limited to the Kingdom Key and while the keyblade won't shapeshift, the battle skills you can use will change. There are different forms like that limited to only one keyblade.

    It's quite fun to fight while the keyblade shapeshifts.
    We focused a lot of battle actions. As I said it before, each keyblade can only turn into different shapes. The Olympus Keyblade can turn into a shield or a chariot. Also the Arrow and Bazooka that you can see in the beginning of the video are a set combination too. You can use the kind of actions you saw in the trailer as soon as you get your hand on the keyblade.

    We can see Sora having a new form in the battle scene of the toy story world, what about it?
    Forms adapt to the changes of entering worlds such as Toy Story. So when Sora was using the drill and the hammer in that world, you can see the form even in this world. You will have to wait for the next dump of information to learn more about the forms.

    In the trailer shown before the E3, we could see a scene in the twilight town, as expected this world will have a great importance in the game isn't it ?
    This time the Twilight town will serve as a tutorial area and will be visited early in the game.

    In the ending of the trailer from before the E3, there is a really important line related to Roxas, the development seems unusual.
    There are too many characters, the story reaches a critical part. There are a lot of characters that appeared until now, there will be lots of characters appearing in different forms.
    There was a lot of problems going on but how are they going to be settled as we reach the end of the story... ?

    Will KH III settle the fate of special characters and answer remaining mysteries ?
    This is the end of the Dark Seeker arc, so it will take some form of conclusion

    What are the meaning of the words from both the last trailer and the one from before E3 ?
    You mean “Don't assume your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it... and dive in”? (Litteral translation of the japanese is« Don't let your dreams end in a fantasy. Dive into the worlds of this imagination ») ?
    This is a catch phrase for the trailer, there is no connection to the actual plot of KH III. The first video started by showing Sora diving, so we wanted to keep on with that message.

    • Jul 24 2017 08:54 AM
    • by Axeken
  6. Tetsuya Nomura answers fan questions about Kingdom Hearts III; discusses Square Enix characters, secret bosses, CGI movie, and more

    Video games writer at Mirror Online and long time Kingdom Hearts fan Ryan Brown (@Toadsanime) had the chance to ask Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura a few questions from curious fans in the Kingdom Hearts community regarding Kingdom Hearts III and the series in general. This followed the release of the latest Kingdom Hearts III trailer and Toy Story world reveal at the D23 Expo 2017.

    You can read the questions and answers below:

    Ryan: Is there already a plan for what happens after the Xehanort Saga that concludes in Kingdom Hearts III? Are there ideas for what future mainline and non-mainline titles might consist of already??

    Nomura: Of course there are different plans that are in my mind and things that I would like to work on or depict in terms of narrative, but it's not like we have anything finalised with Disney as of yet, so I'm not able to introduce it or mention it at this time, but again, I do have different ideas in my head.

    Ryan: What did you think of Kingdom Hearts III being announced back in 2013? Were you consulted about the announcement and did you think it was the correct time for it to be announced?

    Nomura: I understand some of the voices that are raised state that the announcement timing was a bit too early and I acknowledge that, but I do not like information going out in the form of a leak. Rather than having that leaked out unofficially, I'd rather make an official statement.

    Ryan: How far in development is Kingdom Hearts III at the moment, percentage-wise?

    Nomura: In terms of percentage of completion, and this is from previously as well, I tend to not describe it in terms of percentage because it's difficult to sort of say it as a straight number. But we do have a plan of development and we have said a period in which the project is being developed. Based on that, we have made our announcement for the release timing.

    Of course, there are things that are out of the development team and my control which includes company decisions, the decision to change the engine that we're utilising or having personnel being shifted so that we have more resources to develop; things like that may have contributed to our development period being shifted, but that period itself we feel is still on track.

    It's not like the development team had any sort of issues or troubles amongst ourselves in terms of the scheduling, but due to things out of our control that period sort of got shifted a little bit, but I feel that we are still working as planned in terms of our development period.

    Ryan: With so much action going on in the game, such as Keyblade transformations, situation commands and the attraction flow rides, how have you balanced things so that nothing feels overpowered or so that players don't forget all the different things that they can do?

    Nomura: So with these various different actions that are available in the game, each of them are very unique and very different if you compare the different actions that are available. For example, with the attraction flow that you brought up, you see the train and the spinning teacups and a ship was introduced. What's unique about those is that they're not part of a repretoire that you accumulate and choose from.

    It will depend on what situation you're in, so depending on what enemies you're facing and what world you're in, what attraction will show up is unknown until you've actually activated it. Once you do activate it it's a very flashy move and you can attack your enemies in that way.

    Ryan: What are some of your favourite Disney and Pixar movies? I'm not asking hoping for a world reveal!

    Nomura: In terms of favourite movies then, I like Lion King. Something more recent would be Alice in Wonderland; it'd be kind of cool to have The White Queen appear in Kingdom Hearts.

    Ryan: How many of the worlds and Keyblades will there be and how many of them are going to be new?

    Nomura: I can't reveal all of that information! (laughs)

    Ryan: Is there a chance of more Final Fantasy characters making an appearance, or other Square Enix properties like NieR and Dragon Quest?

    Nomura: Of course, we do have precedence. There have been characters that have appeared throughout the series, so I don't think it's impossible but I'm not actively seeking to incorporate existing characters, only because we have such a large roster of original characters in there already.
    If there is a perfect fit, I'm sure the idea might come up, but at the same time I have to consider, is it worth allocating the resources to create the character and give it a role within Kingdom Hearts? Would it merit the effort that's put into it? We're not really actively looking for existing characters.

    Ryan: Are there going to be more secret bosses? Will Sephiroth return?

    Nomura: I can't say for certain, I hope, hint hint hint. I can't say for certain. In terms of Sephiroth, do you feel like you want to battle Sephiroth again? (laughs)

    Ryan: I might cry, but yes, definitely.

    Nomura: Even though you fought him twice? (laughs)

    Ryan: My mum managed to beat him! She plays the games and she beat him!

    Nomura: She's really good!

    Ryan: She is! My friends were always impressed by her Kingdom Hearts skills.

    Nomura: I don't think I can beat him! (laughs). In terms of the secret boss, we can't say anything at this time, but in terms of Sephiroth specifically, my development team are worried that we've had him come back so many times so they're maybe worried it might be redundant at this point. We're still deliberating on it.

    Ryan: Have you ever imagined there being a Kingdom Hearts CGI movie, similar to Advent Children of Kingsglaive?

    Nomura: Nothing has been thought about in terms of a cinematic piece, only because it's difficult to put into a narrative that has become as complex as Kingdom Hearts. Of course, we do have a 15 year history so it has come up in discussions about doing some sort of cinematic piece, especially from Disney.

    They are interested in making a CG movie of sort, but again, it's difficult to make the call on how we want to execute it and how to form it. I still haven't come to a resolution about what would be the most appropriate way in which we depict the narrative, so nothing specific has been formulated.

    Ryan: So, zips and belts are prevalent in the character design. Is that just because you like the aesthetic? Does it have meaning behind it? Why does Donald's hat have zips?

    Nomura: That was my preference back when I first designed the characters, so 15 years ago. At that time, people teased me about zippers and belts and whatnot and I'm the type of person if somebody eggs me on I'm gonna do it more! Nowadays, I'm not as conscious about adding them in.

    I'm not the type of person that would shrink down when people tease me about it. I'm gonna fight back! I'm gonna go back at it and do it more. So, if people egg me on saying 'oh, Kingdom Hearts III is delayed' well, I might even delay it further! (laughs)

    Ryan: How did Lea obtain his keyblade?

    Nomura: Just out of curiosity, did you go to any of our Kingdom Hearts world orchestras?

    Ryan: Yes, I did.

    Nomura: In terms of Lea and him obtaining the Keyblade, it's not really depicted specifically that's for sure. During the events of Dream Drop Distance it's conveyed that he is training under Merlin's care and it was just a brief mention. There will be a bit more of a mention in Kingdom Hearts III on how Lea is aiming to become a Keyblade wielder.

    In the concert, you may remember one of the videos where a girl is narrating. That's actually Kairi writing a letter about her training, so Kingdom Hearts III touches upon that part of the story. Unfortunately, it's not going to be going into details about what happened in the events of Dream Drop Distance, but it will be addressed in some way in Kingdom Hearts III.

    Ryan: Have you ever read any Kingdom Hearts fan fiction and did any either inspire or disturb you?

    Nomura: I've not read any sort of fan fiction, but if you go on the internet of course you see images. I've seen different drawings and art that was created based on the games, but I haven't read any fan fiction unfortunately.

    Ryan: Lastly, will Kingdom Hearts III be playable at any events in the near future? When can people expect to get their hands on it?

    Nomura: Perhaps when we're finally able to reveal the month and date of the release.

  7. Famitsu features Kingdom Hearts III exclusive interview with Tetsuya Nomura discussing development and promotion of the game, Toy Story, and more

    Famitsu has released its latest weekly issue today, showcasing a 12-pages feature on Kingdom Hearts III in light of its newest trailer and Toy Story world announcement at D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California. The feature talks about the events that unfolded at the Expo and the latest trailer, and includes an exclusive interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura.

    We have already published a summary of highlights of the feature, including discussion points on the plot and characters in Kingdom Hearts III, information about its worlds and gameplay, and upcoming updates on the Kingdom Hearts Union χ[Cross] story.

    You can read the summaries here and here, and look at the scans of the magazine below:

    FM1 FM2 FM3 FM4 FM5 FM6 FM7 FM8 FM9 FM10 FM11 FM12

    You can read the full translation of the interview below:

    “KHIII” Director


    Director Tetsuya Nomura sat down to talk to us this time about the Toy Story world, the feel of the battle
    system, (and more.)

    –- The release window has been announced! You said 2018...anything more specific?

    Nomura: As expected, please wait for the follow up report. (laugh)

    --- I understand. (laugh) So, let’s talk about the trailer that was released at D23, and the trailer that was released at the orchestral concert. The same wording was used in both trailers, what kind of intention was behind that?

    Nomura: The catchphrase was added after editing on both trailers, but since Sora begins with diving and sliding energetically. I absolutely wanted to close with the words "jump in." Based on that, I thought about the original catchphrase, and returned to the original concept of KH. I argued that the Toy Story world was absolutely necessary in KHIII. As I was setting up for the first Kingdom Hearts game, I was talking through the various parts of the story...that was long ago. (laughs) John Lasseter was in Japan, and I was asked to tell him about the specifications, and tell him what I wanted to include.

    --- Is this during the first Toy Story movie in the timeline?

    Nomura: The Toy Story world has an original story that cuts out [from the timeline] after the second film, Sora and company aren’t tied up in the [film stories]. It’s not a parallel setting. Events in KHIII will also be included in the Toy Story series timeline.

    --- In a sense, this is a new Toy Story tale. What kind of story are you developing here?

    Nomura: In the opening, Sora will be mistaken for a character from the latest game released in that world. Although it’s not in the trailer, the dinosaur toy Rex sees Sora and mistakes him for that game character.

    --- Sora seems to be a toy based on that character, huh? Sora and company’s designs all seem like toys.

    Nomura: The KH team’s art director repeatedly interacted with the other side to give the design we have now. At first, we were hoping for a design more like an action figure, but from the other side we got advice to match the aesthetic of the world of “Toy Story” as much as possible. I got a lot of suggestions from various people in charge of the story, settings, characters, etc. until the world was completed. There was stubbornness on both sides, so we had to take a lot of time to discuss until we settled on this design, where both sides are satisfied.

    --- Because of that, the characters from the original films, including Woody and Buzz, look just like the original animation.

    Nomura: Although we had the sample data, I didn’t think it would reproduce so well in the game. The staff was shocked. Thanks to the considerable improvement in expressiveness in KH so far, each world can have it’s own unique visuals, gimmicks, etc. that are all different. It’s kind of like making a lot of separate games at the same time—it’s hard. (laughs)

    –- I see. This time, the big topic of this trailer is the public reveal of the Toy Story world. I was waiting for it, and felt like "It finally came!"

    Nomura: It’s the same for me. It’s a world I wanted to put in since KH2, so now that it’s finally been realized, I’m having some really deep emotions.

    -- What makes you decide to show Toy Story trailer at this event in particular "D23 2017?"

    Nomura: We couldn't show much of the new worlds during the last D23 because of Disney so we decided to show the Big Hero 6 world because we could only show one image, we originally wanted to show the Toy story world back then.

    Nomura have also shed light on some points that were mentioned previously in some other interviews, such as:

    - They wanted to follow on KH0.2's path and make it so that you could chose what to do next while continuing the fight. It may seems hard at first sight but it's actually pretty simple.

    - You won't be forced to use a specific Keyblade in order to beat a boss, this way each player can use the one they prefer.

    - Every character's story will be settled, and this will involve members from the former Organization XIII.

    - Nomura is involved with many titles, such as a character designer, but he is directing nothing besides the announced titles (KH3 and FF7 Remake.) Some people are mistakenly crediting him as the main character designer for Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

    - The world where Young Xehanort and Eraqus are at is an original Kingdom Hearts world and there will be less Disney worlds than KH2, but with more playable content in them.

    - The story will be dark, but there are no plans for ending everything at once.

    - The Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] fifth Union leader chapter has been written and it will be released early August, the character is going to be cute.

    - On the next KHIII reveal, they will try to focus on showing the battle more. "Different battle situations."

  8. Every character's story will be settled in Kingdom Hearts III; the world Young Xehanort and Eraqus are at is an original world; Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] 5th Union leader reveal in early August

    A Kingdom Hearts III feature will be included in the upcoming Weekly Famitsu issue, and earlier today, Esoteru posted a summary of its highlights online. Since then, more leaks have released from Hachima. Some parts of this have already been covered in the aforementioned highlights summary, but now, we have the information in more detail and new information as well.

    Check out the first half, translated by Katie Armstrong, below:

    • Tetsuya Nomura would like for you to wait for the next report, which will be some time in 2018.
    • There was some last-minute post-editing on the D23 and the Orchestral Concert PVs; Nomura wanted to tie things back to something with the word "dive," thinking back to the original concept of KH.
    • There were some strong feelings about the Toy Story world, because Nomura wanted to include it in KH2. Nomura's been negotiating for it since the first KH game. He met with John Lasseter when he came to Japan and told him about every element he wanted to include.
    • The Toy Story world does not take place during the original story, but picks up somewhere after Toy Story 2 and is consistent with the timeline of the movies.
    • This isn’t in the PV, but there is a scene where Sora is mistaken for an action figure of a game character by Rex.
    • Sora and company’s Toy Story world looks were designed by art directors who interacted to combine designs; the first team’s design was similar to action figures while the other group tried to match the aesthetic of Toy Story. The two had to come together and discuss and convince one another to arrive at the final design.
    • The staff was surprised at how easy it was to reproduce the graphic appearance of the original films. The looks of other worlds and gimmicks and such have been difficult for this game.
    • The Toy Story world’s percentage [of completeness] and quality was high enough to be seen earlier, but based on our PR plans it wasn’t shown until now. When they announced the Big Hero 6 world, Nomura could only show one illustration because it was a somewhat sudden request, so this time Nomura wanted to show video.
    • Production on the Big Hero 6 world is going well, though the matter of the last selected world is still ahead of them.
    • Multiple battle commands are displayed in the PV because there is always a choice in what to do in battle, there’s some tactical fun in assembling combos of your choosing. It might seem tough, but I want to reassure you that you can pull off some fancy techniques with the right button combinations.
    Check out the second half, translated by News Team member Dengojin, below:
    • Each world will have it's own guest party members and they will have their unique collaboration commands, since it is a new system it will be introduced in details later.
    • Riding a robot to fight was an early idea sent at the beginning of the development to the dev team, each floor of the toy shop will have it's own gimmick.
    • The toy shop will be the main area in the Toy Story world you can enjoy other gimmicks with various toys sold there.
    • There is surprise in the future.*
    • The world where Young Eraqus and Xehanort is an original world. Also he mentions that KH3 will have less Disney worlds than KH2 in numbers, but they will be richer and more playable.
    • There are so many characters, so the story is dark and he is not planning it to end it all at once.
    • Each character story must be settled. This will involve members from the former Organization XIII.
    • Nomura is not directing anything else beside the announced titles, but he is involved with many.
    • Kingdom Hearts Union χ[cross] fifth Union leader chapter has been written and it will be released early August.
    • Nomura would like to give us more information about Kingdom Hearts III battle later.
    *Pretty vague, maybe referring to the Toy Story world to be full of surprises?

    Toy Story is the latest world revealed for Kingdom Hearts III through the trailer unveiled last week at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. The Weekly Famitsu feature, which will recap the event and include an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, will be published on July 20 in Japan. Stay tuned with us for updates and translations!

    UPDATE 1: The Weekly Famitsu issue has been released! Check out full scans of it, as well as full translations, here.

  9. Kingdom Hearts Fan Event confirmed for D23 Expo Japan 2018

    The official Japanese Disney website has confirmed that Kingdom Hearts will be making an appearance at D23 Expo Japan 2018, held from February 10th, 2018 to February 12th, 2018. The listing confirms Kingdom Hearts, calling it the "Kingdom Hearts Fan Event," which is currently just a tentative title.

    Kingdom Hearts had made an appearance at D23 Expo Japan in 2015, showing off a new Kingdom Hearts III trailer and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. This event was called the Kingdom Hearts Premium Theater.

    UPDATE [Nov. 18, 2017]: The official D23 Expo Japan website has revealed the Kingdom Hearts Fan Event's date and time at D23 Expo Japan 2018. It's a part of the Disney Magical Theater program on Saturday, February 10th, 2018. It's planned to be from 4:00 PM - 5:20 PM JST, which is 11:00 PM - 12:20 AM PST, 1:00 AM - 2:20 AM CST, and 2:00 AM - 3:20 AM EST. Find out more in the full article here.

    What do you expect out of the Kingdom Hearts appearance at D23 Expo Japan 2018? Let us know in the comments below!

    • Feb 10 2018 09:13 PM
    • by Jake
  10. Tetsuya Nomura discusses Maleficient's role in Kingdom Hearts III, the possibility of Roxas's return, and more with IGN

    Following up on Tetsuya Nomura's statements on a higher tier of magic and the return on Gummi Ships in Kingdom Hearts III, IGN published more interview insights from the Kingdom Hearts series director. They are summarized below.

    • Despite series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto's reassurance, some fans have still been questioning the existence of a future "Kingdom Hearts 2.9", especially after the epilogue of Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep -A fragmentary passage- bearing the name "2.9: The First Volume". But Nomura dispelled that concern stating that the epilogue has already bridged the gap to Kingdom Hearts III. He said:

    “Of course [the 2.9: The First Volume] narrative does connect to Kingdom Hearts III, but I understand that there were some speculations about, like, is there going to be another 2.9 that's going to come out? But rest assured, it is already – that bridge, that link is already bridged, so we are now leading up towards Kingdom Hearts III."

    • Nomura also talked about some plot points in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III. He said that Maleficient and Pete are working separately from the (new) Organization XIII without conflicting with them or Sora. His statement is as follows:

    “Whenever [Maleficent and Pete] go to different worlds, they may interact with some of the villains, Disney villains that exist in that world, but they are their own thing, with Maleficent leading the way. They have no sort of cooperation [with Organization XIII], nor are they conflicting or enemies against those people. Sora is battling the 13 Darkness, but Maleficent and Pete are kind of separate from that... So she doesn't necessarily actively poke at Sora or try to bother him.”

    • In regards to the scene in the Kingdom Hearts III Orchestra trailer where Xemnas asks Sora if he is ready to "call upon the darkness", Nomura stated that that scene "is actually a bit longer" and suggestive to Xemnas and Ansem Seeker of Darkness - Xehanort's Nobody and Heartless - existing at the same time.

    “That brings to Sora's attention, if a Heartless and Nobody can exist at the same time, can Sora and Roxas exist at the same time, too? And to do that, Xemnas is asking Sora, do you intend on utilizing the power of darkness? So that's the kind of narrative that we wanted to talk about in that section [of the game].”

    • In regards to the exclusive scene performed by Kairi's Japanese voice actress for the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour -, where Kairi narrates a letter she wrote about training with Lea, Nomura only said that in Kingdom Hearts III, she is training in a timeless environment to face the battles ahead.

    “With the help of Merlin, she's now in the sort of environment where there's no limitation of time. So she can train, and focus on training, to become a Keyblade wielder. And so, in Kingdom Hearts III itself, also, it will be touched upon that those two are currently training.”

    • Nomura also stuck with his initial statement about summons returning to Kingdom Hearts III.
    • He said that they've been avoiding showcasing more information on Attraction Flow as they feared they've shown it "so many times" in the previous trailers (such as the Kingdom Hearts III - E3 2015 trailer), and that the team is interested in showing it off again when when the right opportunity arises.
    • Nomura also followed up on his previous statement about almost all the worlds in Kingdom Hearts III (apart from Olympus Coliseum) being new worlds.

    “With Kingdom Hearts III, there was deliberate intent to kind of focus on the more [sic] newer titles. And then in terms of previous titles, we tried to balance it so that we have a good mix of some of the older IPs as well as some of the new worlds as well. But, yeah, with Kingdom Hearts III, there was a shift in that sort of thinking so we can focus on some of the newer titles.”

    • When discussing the development team's approach to choosing a Disney world for the game, Nomura said they would firstly look at projected fan enjoyment. He said that if two worlds had a similar theme, for example two jungle worlds, or if two levels had similar content, the team would shortlist only one.
    • Nomura talked again about Athletic Flow being a refined version of Flowmotion after processing fan feedback of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. Athletic Flow is shown off in the Hercules excerpt of the Kingdom Hearts III D23 2017 trailer when Sora jumps from rock to rock.

    "With the previous Flowmotion... it seemed a little too free. And we did receive feedback from the consumers that it was – they didn't know what to do with it, and it was kind of hard to control on their end. So we tried to refine it and it's evolved into now what we call Athletic Flow."

    • Nomura stated that the focal point of the Toy Story arc will be at Galaxy Toys.

    "That toy store is going to be sort of a very central focus of that arc of Kingdom Hearts III, and it's in that section you see those robots being sold on the shelves."

    • Lastly, he concluded by saying that the players can expect more variety in the gameplay, and that fighting in first person perspective with the mechs is just one of several engaging gameplay elements in the Toy Story world.

    "You can expect to see different sort of gameplay happening in each of the different worlds, and we have those specific points that we would love for the players to pay attention to."

    Stay tuned with KH13.com for more upcoming information on Kingdom Hearts III!

  11. Less Disney worlds in KH3 than KH2, but with more content; Big Hero 6 world development going well and next info is on its way; Toy Story world canon to the Toy Story timeline

    A Kingdom Hearts III feature will be included in the upcoming Weekly Famitsu issue, and Esoteru has posted a summary of its highlights online. News Team member Dengojin has translated them as below:

    • The KH3 development team have been planning for a Toy Story world since Kingdom Hearts II, but had to go through a number of negotiations for it to finally appear on KH3.
    • The story in the Toy Story world will take place after Toy Story 2, and will follow its canon timeline rather than taking place in a parallel storyline.
    • At the beginning, Sora is mistaken for another character from a new game being sold.
    • Riding a robot to fight was an early idea sent at the beginning of the development to the KH3 development team.
    • Development on the Big Hero 6 world is going well, and the next information on it is on its way.
    • The number of Disney worlds in KH3 are less than in KH2*, but they will be vast and have more content in them.
    • The number of cutscenes in Final Fantasy VII Remake is greater than in KH3, and they are taking a long time to develop.
    • Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura is designing the organization members for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It was a request that came from his old mentors who used to take a good care of him when he was a newcomer, and he couldn't refuse that request.
    • There are no unannounced titles that Nomura is directing, but he is involved in many.
    *There were 12 Disney worlds (excluding original Kingdom Hearts worlds) in Kingdom Hearts II, implying that the number of Disney worlds in Kingdom Hearts III may be less than 12.

    Toy Story is the latest world revealed for Kingdom Hearts III through the trailer unveiled last week at the D23 Expo in Anaheim. The Weekly Famitsu feature, which will recap the event and include an interview with Tetsuya Nomura, will be published on July 20 in Japan. Stay tuned with us for updates and translations!

    UPDATE 1: Since the summary of the highlights was posted online by Esoteru, more leaks have released from Hachima. Some parts of this have already been covered in the aforementioned highlights summary, but now, we have the information in more detail and new information as well. You can check it out here.

    UPDATE 2: The Weekly Famitsu issue has been released! Check out full scans of it, as well as full translations, here.

  12. Kingdom Hearts III will feature in Weekly Famitsu with a Tetsuya Nomura interview and a recap of D23 Expo 2017

    This week's issue of Weekly Famitsu will feature Kingdom Hearts III, and will mainly focus on the trailer that was released at D23 Expo 2017. It will have a recap of D23, as well as an interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. This Kingdom Hearts III coverage will be 12 pages long.

    This August 3, 2017 issue of Weekly Famitsu will release on July 20, 2017. You can view the teaser scans for the issue below:

    KH3 Famitsu 1 KH3 Famitsu 2

    UPDATE 1: A summary of the highlights of the Weekly Famitsu segment has been posted online by Esoteru. You can check it out here.

    UPDATE 2: Since the summary of the highlights was posted online by Esoteru, more leaks have released from Hachima. Some parts of this have already been covered in the aforementioned highlights summary, but now, we have the information in more detail and new information as well. You can check it out here.

    UPDATE 3: The Weekly Famitsu issue has been released! Check out full scans of it, as well as full translations, here.

  13. Tetsuya Nomura discusses Attraction Flow in Kingdom Hearts III; says it'll be a surprise depending on the area

    During an interview with Atomix, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura discussed the Kingdom Hearts III mechanic known as "Attraction Flow." This mechanic has been seen in previous trailers for the game, where Sora can be seen summoning different Disney Park-inspired rides that he uses in battle. Attraction Flow hasn't been seen in recent trailers, so many fans have been wondering whether it's still in the game, but this interview with Nomura confirms that it's still a part of it. He says that the player can't choose which Attraction Flow to activate, and that it's a different surprise depending on which area you're in. So, when you see the signal for the ability is ready, it'll be a surprise of finding out what will happen. It's not something you can activate in any area you want.

    Nomura mentions that Kingdom Hearts III will have many options when it comes to attacks, such as Keyblade transformations, magic, and head to head combat. He says that Attraction Flow is another ability in the array of different abilities you can use.

    So, in a way, they don't want to force you to use just one kind of attack, but Nomura's sure that we'll enjoy the Attraction Flow system, which has glowy and surprising animations, or, in other words, a visually compelling presentation in which, without the use of many buttons, you'll be able to enjoy a visual spectacle on screen.

    Thanks to neil98 for translating!

  14. Tetsuya Nomura is “confident” about 2018 release, and is not changing his original plans for Kingdom Hearts III

    Azario Lopez (@azariosays) from DualShockers had the chance to interview Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura only a few days after he revealed the new Kingdom Hearts III Toy Story trailer at the D23 Expo 2017.

    Below are some of the highlights of the interview.

    • Nomura stated that he is confident about releasing Kingdom Hearts III within the given release window. He talked of the planning of the development process, and reiterates why the development of the game had been taking longer than planned.

    “In terms of when we decided that it’s going to be 2018, I can’t say for certain, but we knew that from the start of the project… We had determined how long the development period was going to be.

    We had this goal that we set in our planning: we would spend this amount of time, and then our personnel would be increased at such timing. So the plan was already there, but there were some factors that tied-in with our company’s decisions. There was the decision to change the engine, also some personnel planning that had also changed. So there were some factors that were related to the company’s decisions which affected the actual timing at which we will be releasing. That being said, the period that we were planning to spend to create the game was still there, and it just naturally shifted. So we feel that we have been moving according to plan.”

    • In fact, as stated previously in a GameSpot interview, there was a decision made by the company to change to an external engine, the Unreal Engine 4. In his interview with DualShockers, he stated that this decision was made after a whole year of development of Kingdom Hearts III. He reiterates that this delay was not due to any problems with the development team, and that he was not part of making the decision to switch engines.

    “The company had to make those decisions and it didn’t work out for the targets that we were hoping to hit.”

    • In regards to directing Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy VII Remake at the same time, Nomura agreed that while it is the biggest challenge, he is not finding it as difficult due to the games being so different from each other.

    “The differences between them actually work to my advantage. If both titles were too similar, they might start to look the same. With the two being so different, if there was one thing that I could not do in one title. I might be able to do it in the other. This actually works out well for me in that way.”

    • Nomura admitted to feeling a “little bit of pressure” in managing expectation for Kingdom Hearts III. However, he will not be deviating from his original vision and plans for the game, (“which was ambitious to begin with”) and that there are fewer chances now to make last minute changes and do trial-and-errors.
    • He cannot comment on the number of worlds in Kingdom Hearts III, but repeats that they will all be most likely revealed leading up to the release.
    • As with his interview with GameSpot, he also repeats that while nothing is confirmed in regards to DLC in Kingdom Hearts III, he has told the development team to prepare for downloadable content in the future.
    • He briefly commented on how Keyblade transformation was one of the main transformation assets they focussed on. You can read more about it in this interview he had with Game Informer.
    • He recapitulated how the development team is allocating more “fun and gameplay” into individual worlds than in previous titles, rather than making many small different worlds.

    “Since these are HD graphics, we need to be efficient on how we’re working on creating these assets.”

    You can read the full interview here.

  15. Tetsuya Nomura explains why Kingdom Hearts III has taken so long; also says they'll likely reveal all worlds before release

    In an interview with GameSpot, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura explains why Kingdom Hearts III is taking as long as it has to develop and create. Check out the full quote below:

    "A lot of people have been mentioning and making it sound like ‘Oh, Nomura’s taking too much time,’ and it hurts.

    There was a decision made to change to an external [engine]...Unreal Engine 4. So we switched over to that. Unfortunately there was a bit of time that needed to be rewinded and started over. So there was a bit of a setback there, but it was a decision that the company had to make, so it was inevitable.

    We had a plan of the period that it’s going to take for us to create the content at the start of the project, and we laid out, after such and such years, we would need to add more personnel resources. We had submitted it to our headquarters and had it approved, but internal personnel is very limited, and there are various different projects that happen within our company, so unfortunately timing did not work out. So we had to make due with the timing that was appropriate for the company...the company makes the decisions, so unfortunately sometimes it is out of my control.

    I wanted to emphasize that it wasn’t a problem on our development teams. It just happened that way, and there were some decisions that the company had to make, and it just didn’t work out for certain timings that we were hoping to hit.

    It’s kind of out of my hands.I mean, yes, time has passed. But it’s out of my hands."

    They also talked with Nomura about the various Disney-themed worlds in Kingdom Hearts III. Check out what he had to say on the subject in the full quote below:

    "I don’t think we’ll be keeping any worlds secret until the game is released. I think we will be introducing them leading up to launch. Nowadays games can add content on after the fact through DLC content, so there’s no need to hide any worlds."

    He was then asked if they were already planning downloadable content for the game. View his response below:

    "Nothing is set in stone, and I’m afraid we can’t go into details, but I have told the team: Just be prepared to be able to accommodate for something like that. We can’t suddenly develop a system where we’re accommodating for downloadable content. So it’s not confirming or denying either way, but just so that the development team will be prepared, I have informed them of making the preparations."

    And further speaking about the worlds, Nomura stated:

    "I feel like I’ve packed in much more fun than I had in my previous Kingdom Hearts titles.

    Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to be our first full HD game in our current console generation. It does involve a lot of bandwidth and resources in order to create in full HD, so our directive was to have as many elements [as possible] of gameplay included in one single world, rather than having multiple different little worlds with few elements. We wanted to pack in as many gameplay elements and fun into a single world.

    If we are able to accomplish everything that we did plan out for, I’m pretty confident that people will enjoy and be fully satisfied with the end product."

    What do you think about this interview with Nomura? We'd love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them in the comments below!

  16. Tetsuya Nomura discusses a new mechanic "Athletic Flow", Summons, and Keyblade transformations in Kingdom Hearts III

    In a recent interview with Game Informer, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura discussed more gameplay details for Kingdom Hearts III. While talking with Game Informer, Nomura discusses the new mechanic introduced in Kingdom Hearts III called Athletic Flow" (Japanese name), where it allows Sora to propel himself using the environment to reach new areas normally inaccessible. This mechanic also allows Sora to run up the cliff during the Rock Titan boss battle in past trailers. In English, this mechanic is known as "Flowchain".

    You can check out the quote from Tetsuya Nomura below:

    "It’s a new mechanic that we’re implementing in Kingdom Hearts III. The Japanese name is Athletic Flow. I don’t know what the English final name is just yet. It’s based on the Flow Motion mechanic, and it’s basically revamped and introduced as a new mechanic in Kingdom Hearts III. You’ll be utilizing the environment to propel yourself to an area that you’re not normally able to go to, or again, running up the cliff during battle. Those can be expected in each of the different worlds you’ll be traversing through."

    Furthermore, Nomura also discussed summons and how it's more pretty compared to previous games, and how they're expressing summons in Kingdom Hearts III. You can check out the quote below.

    "If I could provide a glimpse, I’ve made it more pretty. Not just the literal modeling, but it’s more about how we’re expressing it that has become more pretty."

    Nomura also confirms that Keyblade transformations are based on what Keyblade you use, and there are 2 different forms that each one can take. However, Keyblade transformations are not finalized yet and they are subject to change.

    You can check out the quote below:

    "First and foremost, each keyblade will have its own form that it can transform into, and it’s different per keyblade. There are at least two different forms it can take. For example, in Toy Story, you saw the giant hammer and then the drill. Another one was at the beginning of the trailer where you saw Sora shoot arrows and it [then] turned into a bazooka, so there are two different forms. It also has multiple layers in terms of transforming; you start out with your first phase of transformation, and if you successfully connect your combos, the [next] transformation will happen. We’re still trying to finalize the specifications, but that being said, it is subject to change, so it might evolve into something even more impressive."

    • Jul 17 2017 08:30 PM
    • by Jake
  17. Tetsuya Nomura discusses a "higher tier of magic" in Kingdom Hearts III

    In an interview with IGN, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura discussed new tiers of magic present in Kingdom Hearts III. When asked about "Blizzaza", an ability first revealed in the Kingdom Hearts III Orchestra trailer, he stated that it is indeed a more powerful version of Blizzaga. This was featured in the latest Kingdom Hearts III D23 2017 - Toy Story trailer, along with other similar higher tier magic abilities such as Firaza and Thundaza.

    He is quoted below:

    "The background of the tier of the magic, up until now, only King Mickey was able to utilize the most powerful form of magic [which was "Stopza" in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance]. It has existed, and then in 2.8, as Aqua becomes Key Blade Master, she is also able to control the highest form of certain magic. As you noticed, it is a higher tier of magic, and Sora is going to be able to use that in Kingdom Hearts III as well."

    Nomura also talked about the return of Gummi Ships in Kingdom Hearts III. He reiterated what he stated in a previous interview with Game Informer:

    "We can confirm that we do have Gummi Ships in Kingdom Hearts III because it is a numbered Kingdom Hearts title. You can expect that to show up, but it has evolved. We can't say how it has evolved, it's a secret, but Gummi Ships will be in Kingdom Hearts III."

  18. Analysis of the Kingdom Hearts III – D23 2017 Toy Story Trailer

    July 15th, 2017 was probably one of the biggest days for Kingdom Hearts fans and the Kingdom Hearts community, if not the biggest day, due to the Kingdom Hearts III – D23 2017 Toy Story Trailer revealed in D23 Expo 2017's Level Up! The Walt Disney Company's Video Game Showcase panel held at 1:00 PM PDT.

    The trailer begins with various clips of gameplay from Olympus Coliseum and Twilight Town with text of the quote "Don't assume your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it...and dive in," which was seen in the Kingdom Hearts III Orchestra Trailer, sliding across the screen. The Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - version of Destati is playing. The first clip shows Sora using Flowmotion to slide on a rail in the clouds of Olympus Coliseum. The HUD changes to only three options while he's on the rail: Blaster, Superslide, and Jump. He also has an aiming target while he's on the rail that he uses to target Heartless that appear in the sky. He shoots various blue blasts at the Heartless, which would presumably be the Blaster attack. The Heartless are the Yellow Opera-looking Heartless we've seen in the Jump Festa 2016 trailer. Hercules is in the party, as well as Donald and Goofy.

    Posted Image

    The next clip shows Sora using Shotlock to target and lock onto various broken segmented building pieces in the sky. The HUD for the Shotlock displays the options Unleash and Flowchain, which was also shown in the Orchestra trailer. After he locks on to several of them, he quickly dashes and jumps off of each one, which is presumably the Flowchain move. Doing this, he makes his way up to the gates that lead to Olympus where we can see a save point.

    Posted Image

    The clip after this shows off Sora fighting Neoshadow Heartless and Dusk Nobodies in the grassy area in front of the Old Mansion in Twilight Town. Sora activates a Situation Command titled "Double Arrowguns" where his clothes change blue (presumably a new Drive Form) and his Keyblade transforms into the gun-type Keyblade transformation we've been seeing in previous Kingdom Hearts III trailers. This Drive Form appears to be tied to the Double Arrowguns Keyblade transformation, just like how the other Drive Forms and Keyblade transformations have been appearing to be. He continues to shoot blasts from the Double Arrowguns at various Neoshadows and Dusks.

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    Sora then further transforms his Keyblade using a Situation Command titled "Magic Launcher" where he transforms his Double Arrowguns into the big cannon-type Keyblade transformation we saw in the E3 2015 trailer. He hits the Neoshadows and Dusks with the cannon as well as shoots a massive blast from it that rains down.

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    The following clip shows Sora fighting the big Heartless, that was previously revealed in a screenshot, in the city of Thebes in Olympus Coliseum. The city appears to be burning down. Sora hits the giant Heartless with various attacks and magic, even knocking it down, but strangely, it doesn't take any damage. The Situation Commands Counter Shield and Firaza appear. This clip ends with the Heartless using its weapon to smash down, knocking Sora away.

    Posted Image

    The quote "Don't assume your dreams are just fantasy. If you can imagine a world, believe in it...and dive in" then comes together the middle of the screen and transitions smoothly by disappearing towards the screen. That concludes the beginning segment of the trailer. This segment was also uploaded to YouTube by the official Kingdom Hearts channel without the quote played over the clips, so you can see the gameplay in all it's glory.

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    It then transitions to the first person perspective of Sora walking out from under the bed in Andy's room in the Toy Story world and looking up at everything. Sora wonders where they are and realizes Donald, Goofy, and him are way smaller than normal and their appearances have changed. They now have the appearance of plastic blocky action figures with several joints. Donald explains it's to protect the world order. If you recall, in previous Kingdom Hearts games, Donald would use his magic to change the appearance of Sora, Goofy, and himself in some worlds to make them fit in better and to not disturb the world order. Donald and Goofy appear to have new outfits as well as being toy figures. It's unknown whether these are new outfits in general or are just new outfits specifically for their toy forms. The music changes to the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX version of Working Together.

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    They then spot some Heartless, summon their weapons, and run after them. The Heartless are new and appear to have goggles, jetpacks, and blasters. Also, the Keyblade Sora summons has a new Keychain equipped. It's changed the Keyblade's appearance to look like a cactus with a cowboy hat and bandanna on it, as well as a lasso wrapped around it and a sheriff badge for the teeth of the blade, obviously to represent Woody. The hilt has a Buzz Lightyear theme to it with little wings. The actual Keychain itself is a tiny one of the green aliens, connected to the Keyblade with a claw in reference to the claw machine the green aliens come from in Pizza Planet. It then changes to gameplay of Sora, Donald, and Goofy battling these Heartless. He uses Flowmotion to grind on the trail left behind by his Blizzard spell and performs a slamming attack which appears to be a new version of Shock Dive. The Situation Commands "Hyper Hammer" and "Blizzaza" appear.

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    It then transitions back to a cutscene where Sora, Donald, and Goofy hear a voice and turn around. Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Hamm, and Rex walk out and ask if they're Andy's new toys. They discuss the Heartless and that they had materialized after their friends had vanished. The toy soldiers and the green aliens from Toy Story can be seen in the cutscene now as well. Buzz explained that after Andy and the others went missing, the intruders didn't come alone. They arrived with a guy wearing a hood, and dressed in black, just like Sora is. Sora, Donald, and Goofy conclude that he must be talking about Organization XIII. Sora says he has a hunch on what's causing this, and asks them if it'd be alright if they handled it. Woody refuses and says he and the other toys need to help to because since it's their friends that are missing, it's their problem as well. He says they gotta work together and him and Sora proceed to shake hands. Sora asks where they can find them, then Woody asks Sarge about it. Sarge says that the latest recon reports place him in Galaxy Toys. He then points up at a poster on Andy's bulletin board for Galaxy Toys. It appears to be a toy store in town.

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    Woody tells Sora and the gang to follow him out the window and onto the roof. It transitions to gameplay once more. Sora's running on the roof of Andy's house. Donald, Goofy, Woody, and Buzz are all in the party at once. The Yellow Opera-looking Heartless are shown again as well as the similar-looking pink Heartless that was also shown off in the Jump Festa 2016 trailer. Sora jumps off the roof and spreads out his arms and legs and glides down and slams to the ground. This is the same thing we saw him do in Olympus Coliseum in the Orchestra trailer. Large Bodies and the aforementioned new Heartless seen in Andy's room are on the driveway and front lawn of Andy's house. Sora then activates the Situation Command "Hyper Hammer" where his clothes change red (presumably the Power Form Drive Form we saw in a screenshot that was released a while back, but in his Toy Story form) and the Toy Story Keyblade then transforms into a big hammer that Sora uses to smash the ground and enemies with. This hammer was also seen in that previously seen screenshot, but it was blurred out in order to not spoil the Toy Story world announcement. He also casts a Fire spell that acts differently while he's using the Hyper Hammer. It acts as more of an AOE instead of the regular Fire spell that aims for one target. The Situation Commands "Firaza" and "Drill Punch" appear. Then, Sora uses the hammer to smash the ground with much more impact than the previous smashes. You can also get a glimpse of a pink trampoline next to the house that could maybe allow you to easily bounce back up to the roof of the house.

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    Next, Sora activates the Situation Command "Drill Punch". The Hyper Hammer transforms into a big drill that Sora uses to hit enemies with and dig into the ground with. He slams the drill into the ground and various other drills pop up out of the ground after. Then, he casts a Wind spell, and after, does a spinning dash through the air with the drill. The Drill Punch transforms into a claw attacked to a long glowing rope that Sora uses to grab a large body and swing and slam around.

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    The trailer changes to gameplay of Sora, Donald, Goofy, Woody, and Buzz inside of Galaxy Toys running towards various mechs called Gigas and the aforementioned new Heartless. The song changes to the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour - version of Wave of Darkness. They begin battling the Gigas and Heartless and the Situation Command "Thundaza" appears.

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    Sora enters the cockpit of one of the Gigas and begins controlling it. The red one specifically. The HUD changes and now has the options: Tackle, Blaster, Punch, Booster, Danger Dash, and Eject. There's also transparent dials and radars around the screen to give the illusion of being in a mech suit. Sora uses the mech to shoot blasts at, punch, and ram into other Gigas and Heartless. He then jumps out and dashes towards another mech. The Situation Command "Ride" appears and Sora jumps into one of the other Gigas' cockpit. Instead of Tackle, this mech, the blue one, appears to have the command Exploder. It jumps up and uses that command and several blasts shoot out and fall to the ground. Sora jumps out of that mech glides down and slams into the ground and into a mech. He, again, gets into the cockpit of another mech. The purple on. And instead of Tackle or Exploder, this mech has the command called Cannon. It then uses Cannon and shoots two big blasts out of cannons on its shoulders. During this battle, you can see one of the toy display stands get destroyed and tumble down when Sora shoots some blasts at it, confirming destructible environments in the game.

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    Lastly, it transitions back into a cutscene. Young Xehanort is shown speaking to Sora. He explains how one heart's shadows fills the emptiness of another, and that like Heartless and Nobodies, they fit together. It's unknown what or who Young Xehanort is referring to. Sora dismisses what Young Xehanort said and asked why he's doing this. Young Xehanort then explains that there's a darkness they're missing and they must reclaim it, and that the way hearts connect in that world could provide a clue.

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    The Kingdom Hearts III logo appears on screen, and fades away, and "Coming 2018" appears, confirming the game to be releasing in 2018.

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    Speaking completely subjectively, I felt like this was definitely the best Kingdom Hearts III trailer yet. I felt like it was the first time we saw a trailer and everything looks complete and finished with pretty much zero issues with graphics or animation or anything. Also, the Toy Story world and character models look pretty much on-par with the CGI of the Toy Story films. The only difference is slightly less detailed lighting, but it's at the point where you don't notice any differences from the game and the movie without directly comparing them. The gameplay also looks very flashy and fun. I'm still not sure how I feel about Drive Forms being tied to the Keyblade Transformations, but there's no knowing how it'll truly and truly play like be until the game releases. Overall, a very solid trailer, and a very solid release year as well. I personally believe just revealing a year like they did, instead of a complete release date, was the best decision, so they don't feel rushed to complete the game in a specific amount of time and possibly end up delaying the game.

    What was your favorite part of the trailer? Did you notice anything we missed in our analysis? Let us know in the comments below!

  19. Tetsuya Nomura discusses the Toy Story world in Kingdom Hearts III

    Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura recently spoke with the Game Informer staff following the D23 Expo 2017. While discussing the Gummi Ship in Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura also discussed various different aspects about the new Toy Story world that had been revealed for the game. He explained more details on the world and what he hopes to achieve with it.

    Nomura called the movie Toy Story "iconic" as it has made a strong mark on the world of CG. He says that he's longed for Toy Story to be in the Kingdom Hearts series ever since Kingdom Hearts II, and that he feels Sora coming face to face with Buzz and Woody in his toy form is something he's excited for and have always imagined in his head. You can check out a quote by Nomura below:

    "Just looking at the trailer, I feel Sora really fit in and matched well with that world, and it’s something I always personally wanted to see – that image of Buzz and Woody coming face to face with Sora in his toy form. I had been imaging that in my head, and to be able to execute that into the game is something I’m really excited for and I’m hoping fans feel the same way I do."

    He also stated that Toy Story's inclusion process was different than other Kingdom Hearts worlds. Most of the time, the world follows the plot of the movie it's based off of, and Sora and company are pitted right into that adventure. But, Pixar requested that they wanted the Toy Story world for Kingdom Hearts III to have an entirely new story that's not based off of any existing film. View a quote by Nomura below:

    "[Pixar] preferred for us to not follow the film directly.

    They said, "Please create something original to Kingdom Hearts," so we did not draw any inspiration from the films. It is completely original and exclusive to Kingdom Hearts, so you can almost say it’s a sequel of some sort."

    Nomura also noted that his team and him considered all the movies in the Toy Story series and decided that the plot of the Toy Story world in Kingdom Hearts III will take place some time after Toy Story 2. He also mentioned that he worked very close with Pixar to get their approval on the new story and that there were many rounds of review. Check out a quote by Nomura below:

    "We placed the narrative in Kingdom Hearts some place after Toy Story 2.

    So many rounds of review! I couldn’t believe how many back and forths I had."

    What you can expect from the new Galaxy Toys location was explained by Nomura as well. He says Galaxy Toys will be the primary stage of the Toy Story world where a lot of the action will take place. Nomura also mentions that there'll be multiple floors and each section will have its own personality. He says the narrative in this world is searching for Andy, who's gone missing, and finding out what Organization XIII is doing in the world. A quote by Nomura can be viewed below:

    "Galaxy Toys is going to be your primary stage where a lot of the action is going to be happening in this world.

    Because Sora, Donald, and Goofy are toys and very small, the playing field is going to feel very large. We also have multiple floors and each section has its own personality, so to speak.

    Sora will be looking for members of Organization XIII in the toy store"

    Nomura was hesitant on saying how many hours it would take to complete this world, because your time can vary depending on how you navigate it. It was also mentioned by Nomura that instead of there being many smaller worlds, they are allocating a lot of their resources into making rich gameplay in individual worlds so the player doesn't just breeze through it. He also used the example of the Gigas mechs shown in the trailer to show how the team is putting fun extra things into the worlds. Check out the quote below:

    "Rather than having multiple different little worlds, we wanted to make sure we’re providing rich gameplay in an individual world, so we put in a lot of effort and allocated a lot of resources to create these worlds, and it would be sad for players not to enjoy the world and breeze right through it. Therefore, we made sure that each of the worlds is designed so players can take their time and enjoy the gameplay that’s available.

    You saw some mechs in the middle of the trailer, and you don’t necessarily have to board them in order to fight the enemies in that area, but I mean, mechs! You can ride a mech! You want to ride it, right?"

    After seeing Nomura perk up while discussing the mechs, the Game Informer interviewer asked what inspired them. He replied saying that he wanted to show that nothing's impossible now with the new hardware specs. They couldn't have Sora riding different things before, but now they can. He ended it off by saying that they will be releasing more info as it becomes available. View the full Nomura quote below:

    "I wanted to showcase that there’s nothing that’s impossible at this point.

    Previously, we couldn’t have Sora ride on different things to fight and now we can. We wanted to showcase that with the specs of the current generation hardware, it is possible. We’re hoping there’s a surprise element with each new mechanic that is introduced with Kingdom Hearts III, and we’re going to be revealing more information as they become available."

  20. Tetsuya Nomura discusses the Gummi Ship in Kingdom Hearts III

    Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura talked with the Game Informer staff about Kingdom Hearts III. Specifically, they had asked him about the inclusion of the Gummi Ship in the game. He says it'll be in the game but he cannot yet reveal how it is or what's become of it.

    You can check out the full quote below:

    "In terms of the Gummi Ship making its return, I can confirm on that, but how it is or what has become of it, we’re not able to reveal it at this point.

    We ask you to stay tuned for more information."

    Nomura also expressed that the Kingdom Hearts team tries to pay attention to what's received well by fans and that they always want to try something new and always try to tweak old mechanics for Kingdom Hearts III. You can check out the full quote for this below:

    "The staff members on our development team always want to try something new, so even with previously introduced mechanics, they always try to make it their own or tweak it. Even if it is small or minor, we customize it so that it’s for Kingdom Hearts III."

    UPDATE: During an interview with IGN, Tetsuya Nomura reiterated what he stated in this Game Informer interview about the Gummi Ship in Kingdom Hearts III. View the full quote below:

    "We can confirm that we do have Gummi Ships in Kingdom Hearts III because it is a numbered Kingdom Hearts title. You can expect that to show up, but it has evolved. We can't say how it has evolved, it's a secret, but Gummi Ships will be in Kingdom Hearts III."

  21. Tetsuya Nomura hints that another playable character besides Sora will be available in Kingdom Hearts III

    Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura recently spoke with the IGN staff about Kingdom Hearts III at D23 Expo 2017. While discussing the possibility of Kingdom Hearts III on Nintendo Switch and the rest of the series to go on Xbox, Nomura also discussed if there will be more playable characters in the future. Nomura says that it would be tough to introduce many playable characters, but he intends to have another playable character aside from Sora.

    You can check out the full quote below.

    "So it would be tough to introduce many, multiple playable characters, but there is an intention of adding a playable character aside from Sora. Unfortunately we’re not able to disclose who it is yet, but there will be [another playable character]."

    Furthermore, Nomura discusses the reasoning behind multiple party members at once, confirming that this will be the replacement of D-Link from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. You can check out the quote below.

    "D-Link, that has been done away with. It was actually a compromise in a previous iteration because we were not able to display multiple characters on that platform in that game. We’re able to depict multiple characters. Up to five people can join, even more, multiple characters can join your party."

    • Jul 17 2017 08:34 PM
    • by Jake
  22. Tetsuya Nomura says a Nintendo Switch version of Kingdom Hearts III is possible after the PS4 and Xbox One versions

    Following the announcements made at D23 2017, including a new Toy Story world and a new, lengthy trailer for Kingdom Hearts III, series director Tetsuya Nomura talked with the staff of IGN. In speaking with IGN, Tetsuya Nomura claims that their main focus is releasing the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Kingdom Hearts III, but that they will consider releasing Kingdom Hearts III for the Nintendo Switch. You can read Nomura's full quote below:

    “The Nintendo Switch is definitely a very interesting piece of hardware, but if we lightly say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll be on the Nintendo Switch,’ I’m sure people will come back and say, ‘But what about the PS4 and Xbox One? We want them out first. Don’t focus on other platforms ... So for now, we want to focus on what platforms we’ve already announced we’re going to be releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 on. And so after, perhaps, maybe we can start thinking about other possibilities.”

    Nomura also talked about possibly releasing Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on the Xbox One, saying that it is in consideration but that there might not be enough interest besides with the Western audience.

    “Just like with the previous answer, if we were to announce yet another non-Kingdom Hearts 3 [project]...people are going to be like, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ So we will want to focus on releasing on the platforms that we have already announced. Do the Western audiences want Kingdom Hearts titles on the Microsoft or Xbox platforms? Japan might say ‘well, we don’t want any more on Xbox.'”

    Would you like to see Kingdom Hearts III on the switch, or Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX on Xbox One? Let us know in the comments!

  23. New Kingdom Hearts III BRING ARTS action figures of Toy Story Sora, Donald, and Goofy announced

    Square Enix Merchandise have announced three brand new Kingdom Hearts III BRING ARTS action figures of Sora, Donald, and Goofy. The figures are of the trio as as their toy versions from the newly announced world of Toy Story. You can view the renders below. Pictures of the actual figures have not been published yet.

    1 2 3

    A release date is yet to be announced.

    Toy Story was just announced as a brand new world in Kingdom Hearts III, which is set to release in 2018. You can watch the Kingdom Hearts III - D23 2017 Toy Story trailer here.

  24. Kingdom Hearts III Bring Arts Sora figure (Guardian Form) available for pre-order on SENA store; releasing end of September 2017 for $69.99

    The official Square Enix North American online store has updated their site with a brand new Kingdom Hearts III Bring Arts Sora (Guardian Form) and is now available for pre-order. The Bring Arts figure will cost $69.99 USD and releases at the End of September 2017.

    You can check out the description below for the Bring Arts figure. You can also check out pictures of the Bring Arts. Finally, you can view the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer here.

    a8fc9e34b27d664976907db65c582d89 1920 KR 6e80712a80cb1a4969878bdcc684f3ef 1920 KR 21d631de07fa75872bca735f639c5910 1920 KR 1a13c92337d1488f2269b2dd9272097a 1920 KR 140df381a99746df7a22697e153628f8 1920 KR DFJG2Y2XgAAiyYO DFJG2Y3XsAA38mH DFJMYN7VoAEkKjd DFJMYOAVYAAf4L1 DFJMYNRVwAEjUaq DFJMYNUUwAAk8iT DFJSzPHU0AAJO1D DFJ4GmbUwAEct0j DFMbF7cVwAAEj3l DFWcAMxU0AAuGlh DKTZCGuVoAABHGV DKXvNXyVAAAincn DKXvOn UQAAqwML

    The Guardian Form version of Sora, the protagonist of KINGDOM HEARTS III, is now available in the Bring Arts figure series as an event and online store exclusive item!

    Even though this figure stands at only six inches tall, with detailed paintwork and contrast of colors this figure faithfully recreates Sora’s appearance with high fidelity to the in-game graphics. With a wide range of motion in the articulated joints, you can recreate poses from the game! While it may be small in size, its meticulous finish gives you a feel of the value of the figure.

    The figure also comes with various interchangeable parts, including hand pieces with different poses, facial pieces, and a new, exclusive Keyblade, creating a voluminous set of accessories. With Bring Arts, the world of KINGDOM HEARTS III can be enjoyed in the palm of your hands!

    Figure includes display stand.

    Figure Size (inches): W 2.6” x D 2” x H 6.3”

    This SDCC-Debuting Square Enix Official Shop Exclusive pre-ordered at the SQUARE ENIX Online Store will be shipped to your provided address, and are not available for onsite pick-up at SDCC 2017.
    Products will not be shipped until end of August 2017.
    Limit two (2) per customer.

    Release: End of September 2017

    UPDATE 1: The Kingdom Hearts III Bring Arts Sora (Guardian Form) was shown off, and for sale, at SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) 2017! View a couple photos of it there in the gallery with the other images above.

    UPDATE 2: Even more photos have been taken of the Kingdom Hearts III Bring Arts Sora (Guardian Form) at SDCC 2017. Check them out, provided by @churroz on Twitter, in the gallery above.

    UPDATE 3: The Guardian Form Sora Bring Arts figure was at TGS2017 (Tokyo Game Show 2017) and three new photos of it there have been shown off. One of them was released by the official Square Enix USA Twitter account, while the other two were released by @rikunami13 on Twitter. View these photos in the gallery with the other photos above.

    • Sep 24 2017 06:44 PM
    • by Jake
  25. Kingdom Hearts III releasing on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2018

    During the D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California, Kingdom Hearts III was given an official release year of 2018, via a new trailer shown at the event.

    This follows last month’s Kingdom Hearts III Orchestra Trailer and the recent reveal at D23 of a trailer and of the new Toy Story world officially confirmed to be playable in Kingdom Hearts III.

    After the game was announced at Sony’s E3 2013 Press Conference, fans have been waiting for a release date and now we can mark our calendars and wait a bit longer!

    Are you guys excited to finally receive a release date? Do you think this is the final release date or do you expect delays? Let us know you think in the comments.

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    UPDATE: Square Enix Holdings have released their Financial Briefing Report for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 ("1Q FY2018/3"). While discussing their future pipeline in the report, they reiterated, once again, that Kingdom Hearts III has been announced to be releasing in 2018. View the full quote in the screenshot below:

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    • Aug 16 2017 04:58 PM
    • by neil98