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

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

    Stay tuned for more information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Nomura even mentioned the idea of a Mary Poppins world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    5 6 7 8

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

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

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

    1 2 3 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That's a trailer scene, for sure!

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

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

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

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

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

    —As Sora grows his hair continues to shoot upward.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    —What's the cause for that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  7. Darkness, Light, and more Surprises to Come

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

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

    Posted Image

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

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

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

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

    Posted ImagePhoto via @OutsideComicCon

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

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

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

    You can read excerpts from the press release below.


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

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


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

    The full lineup includes:


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    In last week's issue of Dengeki PlayStation, a Kingdom Hearts III feature included an exclusive interview with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. We previously published a summary of the key points as posted by the blog Hokanko(Alt); please note that the translations from the source material is slightly different from what was reported from the blog.

    You can view the scans below.

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

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

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

    Director’s voice
    Mr. Tetsuya Nomura

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

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

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

    —What kind of scenario will occur?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    (First translation)
    Nomura: This is also the same as before; the order of the worlds is determined to some extent by the difficulty level and stage* of the game. There was basically no ‘numbering’ to the worlds** you need to visit this time. Up to now, the worlds are prepared with so-called ‘degrees of freedom’, but since most of the players go to all the worlds, it doesn’t mean much.

    In the first sentence, the term he used was closer to ‘the order is determined somewhat by the stage’, which is kind of ambiguous in English, but the Japanese implies progressing difficulty. I’ve tried to clarify, since he says it’s similar to past mainline numbered games.
    **The term 'numbering' could also be referring to the fact that KH3 is a numbered title.

    (Revised translation)
    Nomura: Just as it’s been up until now, the order of worlds you can access is determined to some degree in stages*. This time there virtually isn’t any world that you can skip**. In previous titles, we prepared the worlds to allow the player a certain degree of freedom to do as they please, but nearly everyone goes to all the worlds anyways, so it’s sort of pointless.

    *If you think in terms of how the worlds worked in previous games, I think you can make the sense of it like this: You start, you have a few worlds, you beat them and then a few more become available, so in that sense the worlds unfold in stages.
    For eg. if Tarzan and Alice in Wonderland worlds are both available to you, but you should go to Tarzan first to make sense storyline wise, then Tarzan would be #1 and Alice would be #2. Nomura is saying there isn't any of that kind of numbering in KH3.)
    —How do you feel about online elements?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Below is an excerpt from the press release.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You can read Nomura's quotes below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  13. "Stories Connecting to Kingdom Hearts III" Memorial leaflets and ring notebooks to be distributed via lottery

    During the "KH3に 繋がる 物語たち" ("Stories Connecting to Kingdom Hearts III") promotional campaign taking place between June 25 and July 1, 2018 at Shinjuku Station in Japan, special Memorial leaflets were being distributed to fans at specific times of the day. However, due to congestion and the safety issues that entailed, this distribution has been discontinued for the remainder of the campaign. The picture books and special board showcase will continue as planned.

    Square Enix have announced that the Memorial leaflets will be redistributed to 50 winners of a Preliminary Lottery; the winners can collect them at the Square Enix Café (Tokyo and Osaka) and at ARTNIA. To apply to take part in this lottery, membership to the web service “Square Enix Members” is necessary. (Member registration is free).

    50 sets of five ring notebooks (each with a chapter cover design from the Kingdom Hearts recap series) can also be won in the lottery.

    Posted Image

    For more information on how to participate, you can visit the official website for the campaign.

    (Translations were provided by KH13 Staff Mio-chan.)

    There are 15 Memorial leaflets altogether, 3 from each chapter from the Kingdom Hearts recap video series. There are five chapters, namely Departures, Memories, Twilight, Dawn, and Darkness; they were displayed at Shinjuku Station as "picture books"from which fans could pull out a page (in the form of a Memorial leaflet).

    Below is a collection of all the pages.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

    Besides illustrations and quotes from prominent events in the Kingdom Hearts series, each leaflet also had a special quote on the back hinting towards the story of Kingdom Hearts III.

    We have compiled an album of all the leaflets and the picture book they came from, which you can can view below. These include the front, content, and back of each leaflet. All leaflets are in order.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41.jpg 42.jpg 43.jpg 44.jpg 45.jpg 46.jpg 47.jpg 48.jpg

    Goldpanner has translated the messages at the back of each leaflet; these are provided below with permission. Translations are in the order of how they appear.


    "I think you had that heartache precisely because you have a bond. The pain of the heart is what bonds are."

    "Jeez! Sora's useless without us."

    "Follow the connection of your hearts."


    "If Roxas can come back, then so can Naminé, right?"

    "Hey there clueless, leave things be. You clearly don't understand the female heart."

    "You really do sleep a lot, don't you."


    "The marks under your eyes disappeared, didn't they?"

    "I wish I'd bought ice cream."

    "Please don’t hold back, Lea."


    "That must mean Riku's obtained the strength to protect those who are dear to him, right?"

    "Now our journey ends too, yours and mine…"

    "The feeling of wanting to help someone comes before your own emotions. Until you have no room for stuff like anxiety or loneliness."


    "Take it, the ultimate key, the X-blade!"

    "Who's to say I can't change it and maybe light will prevail."

    “To strike down Xehanort, we need the individuals King Mickey spoke of in his letter. We must lead them out of sorrow and slumber.”

    It is interesting how each of these quotes somehow connect to the scenario depicted in the leaflet they came from? What do you make of these quotes? Who could be the characters saying them? What do you think they could mean to the story of the end of the Dark Seeker Saga? Let us know in the comments!

  14. USgamer interviews Tetsuya Nomura on Kingdom Hearts III development, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gummi Ship system and much more

    Tetsuya Nomura, director and creator of the Kingdom Hearts saga, recently got interviewed by USgamer.neton Kingdom Hearts III development, the choosing of Pirates of the Caribbeans as a Kingdom Hearts III world, and the comeback of the Gummi Ship system. Nomura also offered some insights and personal hints on how the relationship between Square Enix and Disney went on in the previous years, just like his recent statements in the last Multiplayer.it interview. The interview is completely available, and you can read it down below:

    Kingdom Hearts 3 finally brings the Dark Seeker Saga to a close after more than 15 years. Tell me what it means to you to finally finish this story. Are you happy? Are you a little sad that it's finally coming to an end?

    Nomura: Yes. It does come to an end, but I'm not fully swayed to one emotion. I'm not really happy, I'm not really sad. Although I do feel a little sad when I think some characters will probably never appear ever again. Once I think about that, it makes me a little sad. But other than that I'm just more relieved that I was able to tell the full story.

    Pixar films feature prominently in Kingdom Hearts 3. I'm curious to know why they get more emphasis here, but not as much emphasis in, for example, Kingdom Hearts 2. Was it because the PS2 wasn't powerful enough to give you the results you wanted?

    Nomura: I've always wanted to have a Pixar world within Kingdom Hearts, it's just that Disney has always returned to me and said that it will be difficult to make it happen. I assume that there were some reasons within Disney that did not allow us to do this, but I don't know what they were. But I do think that that situation probably changed this time and that we are allowed to do it. It just so happened that we were able to negotiate with Disney and Pixar to have it in on our title this time.

    Seeing Goofy in the Monsters Inc. world, he has a very interesting design. I'm curious what were your intentions were in that regard? Can you tell me a little about that?

    Nomura: For Pixar world, the desires that [the Monsters Inc. and Toy Story teams] had for their titles were really strong. We had a lot of guidelines to abide by in terms of how they appear. Comparing the two worlds, Monster's Inc. had more guidelines that we had to follow, and were a little more clear cut in the details. The coloration, for example, or whether a character only had one eye. When we took a look at those guidelines and figured out what we had to do, we felt that Donald should look this way and then Goofy should look this way. We also had a lot of input from the Pixar team that worked on Monsters Inc. We did pretty much follow their guidelines as well as their feedback for those characters.

    The Gummi Ship is returning in Kingdom Hearts 3, which I think is interesting. I'm curious why you decided to bring it back? What you think it can add to Kingdom Hearts 3. Is it to tie it more into the previous games?

    Nomura: In Kingdom Hearts numbered titles, the Gummi Ship has always been there to travel between the worlds. Gummi Ships are part of the basics of Kingdom Hearts, and as a numbered title in the series, I thought it was necessary to have it in there to complete the package. This is something that [Hironobu Sakaguchi] told me once, which is that Final Fantasy is a title that just has everything in it.
    I wanted to bring that to Kingdom Hearts. In Kingdom Hearts there's the shooting game, there's the RPG, there's the adventure game. It has action, command battles, and everything. There's customization with Gummi Ships, and they bring with them the shooter aspect and the travel aspect. It's just a part of Kingdom Hearts. That's why I thought it was necessary to have it in the title.

    At the end of one of the Kingdom Hearts trailer, Aqua definitely has Xehanort's eyes. We think that signifies that she was corrupted by the realm of darkness since the events of Birth by Sleep. Could you elaborate on that and can you speak a little bit on what we can expect from Aqua in Kingdom Hearts 3.

    Nomura: I do know that she is a popular character among her fans. I'm sure many are shocked to see [her eyes]. People were more shocked than I expected that they would be. I can't really go into much detail about her because I will just spoil everything, but something does happen in Kingdom Hearts 3 that make her seem like how she is right now in the trailer. I think all I can say is that the player is the only one that can save her from him.

    I think it's interesting that you brought back Pirates of the Caribbean, especially since it contrasts sharply with the animated characters. Like, you have Johnny Depp, then you have all the other characters. Why did you bring back Pirates, and why did you choose Pirates Of The Caribbean 3 in particular? Is it because that game is end of the trilogy much like this one?

    Nomura: For Kingdom Hearts, it's been a while since we released on a console. Now a lot of developers are creating photorealistic games, and I think that's more mainstream nowadays. I wanted to prove Kingdom Hearts is able to do a more realistic game as well. I also was very interested to see how realistic we could get it. That's why I wanted to have some live action film-based world.
    I also thought that the matchup between a very photorealistic character and Sora, Donald, and Goofy would be very interesting to see, which is why we decided to have that world. As for why we selected The World's End, it was because of its story line.

    The second and the third movie are connected and the second movie doesn't really have an ending because it takes you to the third movie. It didn't really make sense to go with that one because it doesn't really have a clear ending with that film. We decided to go with the third film which had a clear ending. You mentioned skipping the previous generation of consoles. Was it always your intention to finish Kingdom Hearts 2, explore some side stories, look at different things, and then finally return to the final story much further down the line?

    Nomura: It's not like I had a specific order in mind. It was more like we released it in order of conception or idea. Also because it took us a long time to prepare for Kingdom Hearts 3. If you can take a look at what we have already revealed, you can tell that it is a pretty crazy title that we have created. We did have to have a lot of prep time for it. That just a bit longer than our other spin-off titles.
    Disney has changed tremendously since 2006. Obviously Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, totally different style of animation. How your relationship with Disney and its properties evolved over the past 10 years or so in the context of Kingdom Hearts?

    Nomura: I can say that it has actually been increasingly difficult to get approvals from Disney. That's mainly because in the past Kingdom Hearts titles, the creator wasn't around anymore or the team that used to create those titles wasn't there anymore. There was just this one person that we would just have to go to and they would approve it and we'd be fine and good to go. But because we've been featuring recent titles, they still have existing teams for existing creators that are still working in Disney and still working on a certain title.
    That feedback process just has been a little bit more difficult than before. And each team would have a different set of rules and guidelines and they would say different things, or they would look at different things. It's just been a little different that how it used to be because Kingdom Hearts is a bigger title than it was before. I think that whenever we would bring our previous titles, a lot of people at Disney, and this is my assumption, but I do assume that they probably didn't know what Kingdom Hearts was. They'd go, "What's Kingdom Hearts? I have no idea." But now that it's become a bigger title, a lot more people have been involved in than before. In that sense the relationship with Disney has changed quite a bit. Emotional changes I don't really know if there has been any changes emotionally for me. But at least physically I can say those were the changes that we had with Disney.

    You mentioned that Monsters Inc. had many more guidelines than Toy Story. Was that the one that had perhaps the most guidelines or was there one that had even more?

    Nomura: Frozen had the most.

    I imagine if you want part of a level to be behind the Monsters Inc. factory, you could ask them what they think that would look like. You could ask them to try and provide some suggestions or fill in some of their vision. Whereas for Aladdin, for instance, that's not possible anymore. Being able to quiz those people. So is that also helpful in some respects?

    Nomura: Since you mention Aladdin, I'll just use Aladdin as an example. Since there isn't anyone that we could ask about adding more areas to Aladdin, it was actually easier because we could just create them on our own. But speaking of advantages, because all these films were made in CG, we weren't able to use the character models as is. But we were able to receive a lot of different assets that we could actually base references on them to create, and I think we were able do it a bit easier than we were able to do with our past titles, as well as create something with higher quality because the original title was in CG.

    Final Fantasy characters have always been a big part of Kingdom Hearts, but it was always fun to watch them interact with Disney characters in interesting ways and of course it brought together Disney fans and Square fans. But it appears Kingdom Hearts 3 won't be using Final Fantasy. I'm curious to know why you went in that direction? Is it because you wanted to focus on the core cast, because it's their final game?
    Nomura: I can't disclose too much about the Final Fantasy characters or whether or not they'll be in Kingdom Hearts 3, because I can only speak to what's been shown. But the reason you haven't been shown any Final Fantasy characters is that there are so many original characters that need to resolve their own problems and issues. And because their issues and problems are very difficult, there just hasn't been that much space to fit Final Fantasy characters so far." When you look back on the first Kingdom Hearts, Sora was still a new character, so we kind of had the Final Fantasy characters as supporting characters. But now that it's been 15 years, the original characters are more polished than they were before, so I don't think think they need the Final Fantasy characters help as much as they did before. [...] Also, when we first released Kingdom Hearts, there weren't that many other titles that brought together the Final Fantasy characters. I actually think that Kingdom Hearts may have been the first to do that. But nowadays, there are an abundance of titles that do that, so I don't see the value of having that kind of feature in the game anymore. But that doesn't mean that I'm saying that there won't be any Final Fantasy characters. Please look forward to future information.

    Kingdom Hearts III releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!

    What do you think about Nomura's statements on Final Fantasy characters into Kingdom Hearts III? Do you think they will be likely to appear or not? Let us know in the comments!

  15. Kingdom Hearts III will be playable at the Japan Expo 2018 in Paris, France

    Square Enix France has announced that Kingdom Hearts III will be amongst the titles that will be playable at Japan Expo 2018 in Paris, France! This will be the first time a demo for the game is brought to Europe.

    Japan Expo Paris 2018 will take place from July 5 to 8 at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center in Paris, France. Click here for more information about the event.

    Thanks to Pop Bastion for the tip!

  16. Nomura comments on combat strategies, Keyblade transformations, and new Link Commands in Famitsu's latest issue

    The latest Famitsu issue that released on June 21, 2018 featured an interview with the director and creator of the Kingdom Hearts saga, Tetsuya Nomura. Nomura also talked about additions to the combat system as well as his thought process behind various Keyblade transformations and character links! This portion of the interview is now fully translated thanks to our member NihonScribe and @Keytotruth, which you can check out below:

    Golden Text Block: Lea, who has a strong connection with Roxas, starts training how to use the Keyblade with Kairi. Does he think of passing peaceful days with his best friend at the clock tower as he views the sunset?

    Nomura: I think it's becoming pretty fun even just running around. In battle, depending on the actions Sora takes, something called Situational Commands will appear on the left side of the screen. But they don't just stay there, they all have a time limit and they pile up, so it's up to the player to choose at what timing and what order to use them in to create a strategy. This is a system that I really wanted to implement this time.

    ——There are around 5 commands one can use, however, there is a time limit in which case if you don’t use it or unable to use it, it creates a dangerous situation.
    Nomura: Of course, with the fast button prompts, you can quickly use it. Once one gets used to the different accessible skills, you can choose thinking, “from here let’s use this skill,” which is good. Even if you're bad at doing the actions, you will be fine whether you choose to use the skill or not.

    ——So there's no need to think of the hard way to do it. Among the situation commands there are amusement park-like things you can ride through “Attraction Flow” that are gorgeous, and with the mini-games also implemented there are a lot of fun things to explore.
    Nomura: Attraction flow changes depending on the place, and with abilities like “Firaga,” becoming “Firera,” you become more efficient and various situation commands become more available.

    ——Players are now able to carry three keyblades, moreover they can retain their transformations. Was this done also with the thought of choice in mind?
    Nomura: Yes. Besides just making a new personal system for the keyblade, we wanted people to enjoy playing even when they didn't want to use a keyblade while giving accomplished players more ways to stand up to the challenge and increase their effectiveness. We prepared for various options when backed into a tight situation weighed with the management of the different forms.

    ——With the strength of transformations such as the hammer and yo-yo forms, there is a definite impact if these forms don't stick.
    Nomura: I'm glad you feel like this. With each form, players can definitely enjoy doing different actions. Incidentally, there are a few that don't have a transformation and utilize a special power. For example, Sora’s “Kingdom Key,” which allows him to use abilities he learned in past installments.

    ——There are also Links such as the new reveal of Ralph from “Wreck it Ralph” that have been showcased.
    Nomura: The Link was originally going to be different, and our name for the ability kept changing as the forms changed. We chose “Link” for when the player form changes with the powers borrowed from a Disney character. Though it was puzzling thinking of links along with Ralph, the point is that [KHIII]’s links reveal Disney characters and new skills that one doesn't just play but can also watch.

    ——Is this the same case for the other link revealed, Meow Wow?
    Nomura: Yes. You fight as you watch Sora travel with him, bouncing throughout the frame. Something similar to that (laughs). Really, we wanted to try a “summon” with KH3D’s [Dream Drop Distance] (also known as KH3D) dream eaters of all types, with all the names in the system, Meow Wow remained.

    ——Utilizing all the types of Dream Eaters?
    Nomura: Yes. I intended to add a lot, but when the staff saw all the things I wanted to include, they said it was “impossible.” With that, I tried to see if I could fill up the Meow Wow link with as many dream eaters as I could.

    [at the bottom of the page]

    Along with Sora's growth, his hair has been becoming more spiky. "When he was a child his hair was facing more downwards and although in KHI and KHII it became more spiky, this time, the spikiness goes more towards the back of the head. It's kinda like it's going more towards the sides. (laughs)" stated Nomura. Is Sora’s hair also evolving alongside his abilities?

    What do you think of the new gameplay mechanics and strategy involved in Kingdom Hearts III's combat? Let us know in the comments below!

    Kingdom Hearts III releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!

  17. Shinji Hashimoto expresses interest in reaching out to Disney about introducing Kingdom Hearts to Disney parks

    Square Enix’s 38th Shareholders’ Meeting took place on June 22, 2018 in Tokyo at 10am JST, where Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, along with executives such as Shinji Hashimoto spoke and answered questions regarding the company’s plans for the future.

    One recurring topic was the importance of digital sales. Matsuda said that the promotion of digital sales will lead to better earnings for the next year and beyond. In regards to difficulties establishing digital sales in Japan. Matsuda said that in terms of numbers, quite a large number of customers have recently purchased digital. Digital is more convenient, and once someone buys it, they will be more likely to get the next one, and so on. “Our site is very convenient in terms of finding a game,” he remarked. “When you want to play old games, it is more convenient [to buy it digitally] than going to a second-hand shop, and you can find it from the list.” He said proceeding with the renovation of sales sites is important for the company, including overseas. Square Enix will also be promoting an app development soon. In the Investor Relations conference that proceeded, he also said there are plans for specific services to increase user engagement to be offered to holders of Square Enix accounts, which they are trying to promote in many ways in Japan, Europe, and the United States as this is important towards increasing digital sales.

    When asked about how to put incentives in multi-platform deployment, Matsuda said, “We are considering making the content suitable for each platform.”

    The Investor Relations conference started at 11.30am JST, where many titles from E3 2018, including Kingdom Hearts III, were featured in a 19-minutes introductory video.

    Here, Matsuda talked about having plans to work positively towards smartphone MMOs, whose market is becoming increasingly popular, especially in China and Korea, with new users coming in.

    Kingdom Hearts series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto also answered a question regarding Kingdom Hearts’s presence in the Disney parks in light of their expansions. Hashimoto said that since he’s been in charge of Kingdom Hearts in 1997, it has been part of a Japanese dream to play something Japanese creators have created with Disney. However, even after having reached that milestone, and even though he would like to see Kingdom Hearts in Disneyland, its inclusion in Disney parks might prove to be unfavorable due to Disney’s stronger/bigger/more popular IPs (such as Frozen and Star Wars) overshadowing it. “However, as [Kingdom Hearts’] ratings at Disney are increasing, I want to talk about that part,” he said, expressing his interest in connecting with/reaching out to Disney. He also observed that sales in Disneyland contribute to the expansion of customer base, implying it could be beneficial to Kingdom Hearts if it were to be introduced to the parks.

    Thanks to KH13 Staff Mio-chan for the translations, and thanks to the original reporter, Suzuki, for the reports and for clarifications regarding Hashimoto’s statements.

    Do you think there is a possibility of seeing Kingdom Hearts attractions in the Disney Parks? Let us know in the comments!

  18. Dengeki PlayStation to feature Kingdom Hearts III: Nomura comments on Big Hero 6 world and Gummi Ship customization to be shown and talked about next, online element in the works, and more

    The blog Hokanko(Alt) has published a summary of the interview that Dengeki PlayStation has had with Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura. This interview is to be published on the next issue of the magazine, which will release on June 28 (JST).

    Below is the full summary as peovided by the blog. Translations are thanks to @Keytotruth.

    • Frozen was planned to be a world pretty early in development.
    • It follows the movie pretty closely, and Sora's story proceeds as Elsa's and Anna's move on.
    • The Keyblade from the world of Frozen transforms you so you have shoes for skating.
    • Elsa and everyone else don't join your team, but Marshmallow will offer your his help.
    • For Pirates of the Caribbean, Nomura wanted to experiment with different graphics.
    • Sora in a pirate suit is something Nomura really wanted to do.
    • This world made it in because he wanted at least one live action film to be in the game.
    • While the story does take place during the third movie, there are also elements from the second one.
    • There are a lot of gimmicks since you can move through land, sea and air. The Keyblade becomes a lance and a flag.
    • Nomura thinks they'll be able to show the world of Big Hero 6 next time.
    • Sugar Rush will be a Link Command as they announced. Also, there's the minigame called "Remy's Delicious Restaurant".
    • The reason why they showed the worlds of Hercules and Toy Story in the media/E3 demo was because they are the ones closest to completion.
    • Some impressions that theythey rece about the trial were about the camera. They are going to work on that until the last day.
    • This time [for this game], making everything from scratch was really tough.
    • The difficulty for the demodwas slightly easier than "Standard mode", but a little bit harder than "Beginner mode".
    • The powering up of each character is something similar to how they powered up from KH1 to KH2.
    • The director and staff from Einhänder are the ones working on the Gummi Ship portion. Nomura really liked their work, so he's looking forward to the finished product.
    • There is a Combat specialized mode and an exploration mode. You could say it's an open world Gummi Ship.
    • They will talk about Gummi Ship customization the next time.
    • The order you visit worlds in is decided up to a certain degree.
    • This time, there is no such thing as skippable worlds. This is because most people didn't see all of them in the previous games.
    • Right now there are no online capabilities, but they're thinking of adding something.
    • At this moment they're not looking into making any demo.
    • Information related to the New Organization XIII will be revealed as we move towards the release.
    • After some incident Aqua... (Note: This part is ambiguous, but it might mean that we see Aqua as she is in the trailers after a certain incident.)
    • If you play both KHIII and Union Cross, Nomura thinks you'll end up understanding Marluxia.
    • Since this will be the time for "everyone to settle things up", many characters from the series will make appearance.
    • They got the new song from Utada Hikaru really early on.
    • After giving her an explanation about the series and its contents, she made the song herself.
    • The special edition PS4 Pro was decided very early on. In order to find the ideal color, it was redone many times.
    • It will be covered with leather.
    • The controller will also be a new type with flashing lights on top of the touchpad with a custom design.
    • Nomura would like you to play the previous KH games and KHUx as you wait.
    • There's also the problem where we might be running out of space, so Nomura would like you to get connected to the internet in case they distribute online content.
    • KHIII's release is being prioritised over the promotion of FFVII Remake.
    Stay up to date with KH13.com as we will be covering Dengeki PlayStation’s Kingdom Hearts III feature tomorrow!

    UPDATE [Jun 27, 2018]: Dengeki PlayStation Vol. 665 has released and includes an 8-pages Kingdom Hearts III feature! You can take a look at the scans below.

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

    UPDATE [Jul 2, 2018]: Full translation of the Nomura interview is now available here! Please note that the original translations might differ from the ones above that have been reported by Hokanko(Alt).

    We will be translating the full interview with Nomura found in this issue, so keep an eye on our website and follow us on Twitter for updates!

  19. Utada Hikaru's 7th Japanese studio album "Hatsukoi" hits stores as Kingdom Hearts III theme song "Chikai" plays in full at Shinjuku Station

    Fans have started to get their hands on Utada Hikaru's newest studio album "Hatsukoi" in stores in Japan, one day prior to its official release! It is still on pre-order on iTunes (Japan) however, for release on June 27.

    The fourth track of this album is "Chikai" ("Oath"), the theme song for Kingdom Hearts III. (Note that this cannot be purchased on iTunes independently; it comes with the full album.)

    Find more information about the album and where to purchase it from here.

    While the song is not yet on a streaming service outside of Japan, we have found a video on Youtube from user @yuuna_kisaragi who has recorded the full version of Chikai as played at the Kingdom Hearts III promotional campaign at Shinjuku Station. You can watch it below.

    UPDATE [Jun 26, 2018]: User Viet Tran has uploaded the full version of Chikai on YouTube, and has pinned it's lyrics in romaji and English. You can listen to it below.

    UPDATE [Jun 26, 2018]: Utada Hikaru talks about Kingdom Hearts in this interview. Thanks to @Mio-chan for the translations.

    The 4th song is « Oath », Kingdom Hearts III’s theme song, right.

    I received an offer from around the time I had not release the album
    « Fantôme » yet.
    Immediately after Fantôme was completed, « I have finished many things. It’s an enclosure. There’s nothing! » I thought to myself but, when I started working on Chikai, « Uh, if I keep up the momentum, maybe more will come up? (laughs). And through this momentum, I created and crank out « Ozora de dakishimete », « Forevermore » and « Anata ». I did it in a tremendous and ambitious way, I think I surprised a little bit myself.

    UPDATE [Jun. 27, 2018]: Hikaru Utada’s new album is out now! It features the Japanese version of the Kingdom Hearts III theme song "Chikai" (named "Don’t Think Twice" in English). You can buy the album on iTunes here!

    UPDATE [Jun. 27, 2018]: New tweets on @UTADABLOG about Chris Dave, which gave some insights on the production of Chikai/Don't Think Twice and the help he gave Utada to make the song succeed:

    Famed drummer Chris Dave and “Chikai”: Upon the theme song trailer release for KH3, Utada heard reaction saying “I don’t understand the rhythm” and “what kind of beat is this?”

    Made Utada realize that something which seemed like a very simple + normal groove line for her wasn’t necessarily heard that way by Others

    Feels like if Chris Dave hadn’t been involved, the song would not have have succeeded since the beat was so tricky and nuanced

    Tell us what you think of the song so far while we wait for Don't Think Twice!

  20. Tetsuya Nomura sheds light on The Caribbean's inclusion in Kingdom Hearts III

    In an interview with VentureBeat, Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura elaborated on the reasons behind the choice to include The Caribbean into Kingdom Hearts III, answering several concerns about its status as a returning world.

    The desire to include realistic characters based on live-action properties was a significant motivator for the development team, especially since these characters can be faithfully recreated within Unreal Engine 4, in far greater detail than ever before. Furthermore, the world design of The Caribbean lends itself well to interesting and varied gameplay. Nomura also explained why Kingdom Hearts III would be focusing on the plot elements of the third Pirates of the Caribbean film, At World’s End, rather than directly continuing the story with Dead Man’s Chest.

    You can read Nomura’s comments from the interview below.

    Q: So why go back to Pirates? Specifically, why the third installment in what is now a series of five films?

    Nomura: It’s not that we’ve been avoiding the reappearance of worlds from our previous titles. They are reappearing as necessary. But for Kingdom Hearts III, one of our ideas or concepts was to try to have as many new worlds as possible. At the same time, I’ve always wanted to have at least one live-action world in Kingdom Hearts III. When we were looking at all these different live action titles, Pirates of Caribbean was one of the most interesting worlds, one that we thought we could create interesting gameplay around. There’s the underwater action and the ships. You can even be airborne. It covers land, sea, and air. I thought that would be a great opportunity, to use the Pirates of the Caribbean world.

    Nomura: Another reason was, because we wanted to have more realistic characters in the live action worlds — even more realistic than before — we thought that the Pirates of the Caribbean characters were unique enough in their details that we’d be able to re-create it as closely as possible with computer graphics.

    Q: OK, but why At World’s End?

    Nomura: When you look at Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End, one is the setup for the other,” Nomura continued. “If we went with the second movie, then the story kind of ends in the middle. It doesn’t really make sense for us, because we’d have to end it in the middle as well. With At World’s End, I felt like there’s more dynamic action to it. Just looking at it from that perspective, it’s a better fit. I also wanted to show the battle with Davy Jones and make it as dynamic as possible, and to do that it had to be the third movie. It was just an easier fit overall.

    Do you agree with Nomura's reasons for including The Caribbean in Kingdom Hearts III? What part of this interview is most interesting to you? Let us know in the comments below!

  21. UPDATED: Limited time Kingdom Hearts III promo coming to Shinjuku Station

    Square Enix have announced that a special board will be put up in Shinjuku Station to commemorate Kingdom Hearts III's release in Japan on January 25th 2019. The board will be available between June 25th to July 1st.

    The board shows several shots from Kingdom Hearts III's cutscenes, showing off characters like Elsa and Ralph. There will also be five boxes that contain leaflets based on the "Stories Connecting To III" summary movies that were released earlier this month. You can check out what it will look like in the gallery below.

    Shinjuku Promo 1 Shinjuku Promo 2 Shinjuku Promo 3 Shinjuku Promo 4

    Each leaflet has its own art and story and there are 15 leaflets to collect in all. The leaflets are said to be in limited quality. At several points in the day (10:00, 14:00, 17:00 and 20:00) JST residents can collect one leaflet from each book for themselves.

    A special Twitter campaign will also be happening that gives people the chance to win 5 notebooks based on the storybooks themselves. All entrants have to do is share what they thought of the recap videos by July 8th to be in for a chance to win.

    Square Enix Japan tweeted about the special promo saying:

    "From 6/25, Stories Connecting to KH3 special boards will be displayed at Shinjuku Station Metro Promenade! We are also preparing a unique experience - don't miss out!"

    Information from the official site says this about the leaflets:

    "5 Episodes of the Kingdom Hearts series appeared as pictures books, now they are exhibited as 5 physical boxes! You can pull out the pages from the pictures books, borrow them and come back another day. Messages that link to KHIII can only be read in the leaflets.

    For Square Enix members (free), the leaflets are planned to be tradable at a later date by using points."

    Thank you to goldpanner and KH13 Staff Mio-chan for translations.

    UPDATE [Jun 24, 2018]: It is now the morning of July 25th in Japan, and fans have started to share pictures of the Stories Connected to Kingdom Hearts III boards!

    See them below, and follow our Twitter for the latest media on this promotional campaign!

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Kh3 001 cs1w1 800x600 Kh3 002 cs1w1 720x Kh3 003 cs1w1 720x Kh3 004 cs1w1 720x Kh3 005 cs1w1 720x Kh3 006 cs1w1 720x Kh3 007 cs1w1 720x Kh3 008 cs1w1 720x Kh3 009 cs1w1 720x Kh3 010 cs1w1 720x Kh3 011 cs1w1 720x Kh3 012 cs1w1 720x Kh3 013 cs1w1 720x Kh3 014 cs1w1 720x Kh3 015 cs1w1 720x Kh3 016 cs1w1 720x Kh3 017 cs1w1 720x Kh3 018 cs1w1 720x Kh3 019 cs1w1 720x Kh3 020 cs1w1 x720 Kh3 021 cs1w1 x720 2 3 5 6 7 9 10 11 12 13 14 board rap1 rap2 rap3 Rat rat2

    UPDATE [Jun 25, 2018]: Leaflet distribution has been momentarily suspended due to congestion during distribution periods.

    UPDATE [Jun 29, 2018]: The Memorial leaflets will be redistributed via lottery. You can read more about it and the translations of the special messages at the back of the leaflets here.

    UPDATE [Jun 30, 2018]: DTimes have published close-up images of the special Kingdom Hearts III board that show some exclusive stills from the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra trailer shown earlier this month to the attendees at the concert in Los Angeles!

    You can see stills from the scene where Sora and Rapunzel are dancing - infact, there will be a rhythm mini-game where you can dance with Rapunzel in Kingdom of Corona. There are also stills from the scene where Sora is cooking with Remy in a mini-game you can play in Twilight Town.



    What do you think of the special promotion? Let us know in the comments below!

  22. Nomura talks about Minigames, Tangled and Frozen worlds in the lastest Famitsu issue

    The lastest Famitsu issue of July 21 featured an interview with the director and creator of the Kingdom Hearts saga, Tetsuya Nomura. Nomura had the chance to share new information concerning the Kingdom Hearts III minigames, as well as Tangled and Frozen World. The interview is now fully translated thanks to our member Mio-Chan, and you can check it down below:

    Golden frame: Xemnas strongly encourages Sora to resurrect Roxas. Even if Sora knows that the True Organization XIII is trying to use him to bring Roxas back, Sora still want to resurrect him.

    White bold text: In order to put some light on the decision regarding the release date, we look deeper into the contents of this announcement and directly asked Mr Tetsuya Nomura [about this]. We also asked about the facts heard at the Media Preview Event held in May.

    Small golden text: What is the story behind this change?

    ——Several announcements have been made at E3, but first about the release date, please tell us the reason why it is deferred.

    Nomura: Because KHIII is a big title, we have continued to adjust various parts with their respective departments. Among this, New Year's Holidays restrictions would likely occur in terms of distribution and production, so it was hard to prepare a sufficient organization to release it worldwide. Plus, we would like to have the same timing with affiliates and overseas branch offices, almost releasing at the same time as Japan, so January was preferable and intentional. 
On the other hand, in terms of development progress, it was never a situation that I could afford. Based on these various circumstances, it eventually became a company decision. (Note: You can read Nomura's comments on this matter in the Mobile01, The Verge, and GNN interviews as well.)

    ——A complex decision indeed. Well then, we will ask now about the trailer and the new information it revealed. Frozen was presented as a new world at last, right?

    Nomura: Here, this scene in progress that you see occur at the same time as the movie’s events. The Let It Go segment will appear too. In terms of battle, although Anna and Elsa do not join the party, the creature that Elsa has created with her magic, Marshmallow, will lend you its strength. In the snowy mountains, there is some exploration in the ice labyrinth prepared by Larxene.

    ——A Pirate of the Caribbean world appeared too, such a surprising announcement!!

    Nomura: About the world of Pirate of the Caribbean, we used the movie "At World’s End" as a base. KHIII sets the stage during the third movie of the series, events of the second movie will be summarized. In the second movie “Dead Man’s Chest”, the “box” is a key element to the story as the title mentions it (Note: He is referring to the “Chest”], this time it is linked to the “Black box” that Maleficent and the True Organization XIII are looking for.

    —— Is the “Remy’s Delicious Restaurant” scene we saw in the trailer a mini-game?

    Nomura: Following Remy’s instructions, you cut the ingredients, you cook them and create a dish, and if you succeed it can give you a status effect. If you fail, it shrivels and burns (laughs).You can play it in Twilight Town, you will to need to gather ingredients you can find in various worlds to make dishes.

    —— In the Tangled world, it seems there is a dance mini-game during the dance sequence.

    Nomura: It’s a “rhythm” mini-game. Cooking with Remy is one thing, but the staff also wanted to “do this kind of things” for the mini-games. Alternatively, should I leave Mr Yasue (Tai Yasue, Co-director) doing it under the pressure? (laughs). When it comes to our working place, things are basically put in place without stopping.

    ——Putting 20 different mini-games in the Classic Kingdom surely was your plan Mr Nomura?

    Nomura: That’s right. I wanted to put as much as possible (laughs). Even though there are recoils that are handling a lot of titles’ high spec, I had a fondness for this kind of thing from the beginning. Actually, I wanted to make it for each LSI on devices. But since it’s difficult to currently do it, I have implemented it in the game. Each game of the Classic Kingdom are hidden in various worlds, and it’s possible to play them on Sora’s Mobile Portal device.

    Very small text at the bottom:
    (In blue) Interview on the Theme Song “Oath”
    (In white) When Mr. Nomura asked about Hikaru Utada's impression of the theme song Chikai, she answered, “For example we can take my first work Hikari which has a very straight forward meaning, but in comparison Chikai doesn’t come as a strong “boom” that sets loose - it’s a complicated composition, I’ve got the feeling of really getting into it when I listen to Chikai repeatedly. It’s such a lovely song.”
    Golden text: Aiming for battles with a wide range of strategies

    Kingdom Hearts III releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!

    What are your impressions on those new minigames, and on this new Mobile Portal device? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

  23. [Updated] Famitsu to feature Kingdom Hearts III: Nomura comments on secret movie, capacity shortage, Final Mix, and more

    Kingdom Hearts III will be featured on the first July issue of Weekly Famitsu, to be released on June 21, 2018! This issue will include Kingdom Hearts III on the cover and an interview with series director Tetsuya Nomura.

    The blogs Hokanko(Alt) and Hachima have posted summaries of the information regarding Kingdom Hearts III coming in this issue.

    The following is new information we have extracted from Hokanko(Alt). Translations were provided by KH13 Staff Mio-chan and Keytotruth.

    • In the Pirates of the Caribbean world, the box in the second movie, Dead Man's Chest, is linked to the black box that Maleficent and the "true" Organization XIII seek. (Note: By the box in the second Pirates movie, they are most likely referring to the Dead Man's Chest itself.)
    • The "Remy's Delicious Restaurant" mini-game can be played in Twilight Town.
    • Tangled's world has a rhythm-based mini-game (seen previously in the exclusive Kingdom Hearts Orchestra trailer in Los Angeles). Everything the staff has been suggesting has been mostly implemented.
    • The Classic Kingdom is a project By Nomura himself; he wanted to create and add as many mini-games as possible.
    • Nomura talked about Situation Commands, Attractions, Links, and invoking Dream Eaters.
    • Even if it’s for running around, Nomura thinks that having the game in hand can be fun. Using Situation Commands, strategies can be planned within a limited time.
    • It doesn’t matter if you use the Situation commands while you’re unfamiliar with them, just press buttons and try them!
    • Attractions are activated under certain conditions, in certain places and according to the previous command.
    • Even if you don’t intend to use the Keyblade's new system, it remains fun as you can perform various techniques. If you’re skilled enough, an efficient strategy can be established.
    • You can experiment different actions through their transformations. Non-transformable Keyblades perform special moves. The Kingdom Key allows Sora to use techniques he used in the past.
    • Links have been changed several times, and the shape of Disney characters’ borrowed power is yet to be decided and are named when you settle to use them in combat. Not only are characters from previous opus along with their skills back, but the player can also intervene when linking with them.
    • The Summon system allows you to call a Meow Wow and all kinds of Dream Eaters. All of them couldn't make it into the game, but with the Link you can make a lot of Dream Eaters appear.
    • In this game, Sora has less decorations to match his more dynamic action and active image.
    • Nomura affirms that Sora, Riku, and Kairi's outfits match each other slightly, eg. all have plaid.
    • Vanitas resurrects, and the other Organization members, after turning back into humans, once again turn into nobodies and resurrect in a different way. The ones that collaborated with Sora resurrect the way they are.
    • The place where Lea and Kairi are training is a new location where you can't go to.
    • Aqua has surprised everyone more than expected. The King and Riku appear in a scene where they are in trouble. Aside from Aqua, there are a lot of other characters that will have everything explained about them, so writing the scenario was very hard.
    • A secret movie for Kingdom Hearts III has been made, but is not finalized yet. (Note: This is likely referring to an unlockable secret ending for the game, eg. "Another side, Another story..." and "The Gathering".)
    • It's difficult to give a figure for percentage completion at the time. A major concern for Kingdom Hearts III is its high volume being met by capacity shortage. This is exacerbated by some cut-scenes that are being made into movies for load time reduction, but consequently require more capacity than expected.
    • Lip sync data is also a concern; switching between Japanese and English audio is very tough.
    • A Final Mix version isn't under consideration since there's also the problem with running out of space. Nomura has plans to release updates as DLC, so even if they do that, it won't be a Final Mix.
    • About DLC, they haven't decided on details, but Nomura wants it to be something that expands the ways you can play in. They won't be working on that until they are finished with the main game.
    Hachima's summary also included the above points, and also mentioned that the world of The Caribbean is set during Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, but the story from Dead Man's Chest is touched upon in synopsis.

    We will be updating our translations as well as reporting on the Kingdom Hearts III feature on Famitsu Weekly, which will release tomorrow (in Japan). Keep an eye on our website, as well as Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for updates!

    Update [Jun 20, 2019]: The July 5 Weekly Famitsu issue is now out! Check out the scans below. We will be providing translations soon!

    01 02 03 04 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.53.40 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.53.53 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.54.03 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.54.36 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.54.46 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.54.56 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.55.08 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.55.16 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.55.27 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.55.39 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.55.47 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.55.54 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.56.04 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.56.10 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.56.18 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.56.28 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.56.33 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 17.56.41 Screen Shot 2018 06 20 At 18.00.15

    Let us know your thoughts on Kingdom Hearts III's secret movie and the possibility of dual audio in the game!
    Kingdom Hearts III releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!

  24. Kingdom Hearts Recap videos are now avaiable on Square Enix's Japanese YouTube channel

    During yesterday, Square Enix published on their japanese YouTube channel the already announced recap videos for the entire Kingdom Hearts saga. The 5 released videos feature a narration by Chirity, which briefly explains the different chapters of the saga, using both Japanese dub and subtitles. No information about any English translations are known at the moment. These videos are each approximately 3 minutes long. However, when speaking to GNN at E3, Nomura had said these recap videos "might last several hours". You can check below for the full list of videos and the related description:

    This video shows the departure of Sora for his journey, and recaps Kingdom Hearts story

    This video shows the journey of Sora into Castle Oblivion, and recaps Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories story

    This video shows the days of Roxas inside the Organization XIII, and recaps Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

    This video shows Riku's side of the story, going through the Reverse side of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories

    This video goes through Master Xehanorth's plan for the 13 Seeker of Darkness as well as part of Birth by Sleep and Dream Drop Distance

    A special promotional campaign will be also take place in Shinjuku. The campaign will continue from June 25th to 1st of July, on the expo area of Marunouchi Subway. You can check here for more details.

    Square Enix also announced the the release of those videos through its Twitter account. You can check below for further images released on the official Square Enix website:

    book1 book2 book3 book5 book4

    Kingdom Hearts III releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!

  25. Nomura talks about "Let It Go", the gameplay of Arendelle and The Caribbean, the new Princesses of Heart and Situation Commands in Kingdom Hearts III

    Kingdom Hearts series director Tetsuya Nomura has recently been interviewed by Famitsu at E3 2018, where he talked about many topics, including the gameplay of the worlds of Arendelle and The Caribbean, how to make use of Situation Commands, and the seven Princesses of Heart.

    You can read his remarks from the interview below. (Translations have been provided by KH13 Staff Mio-chan, and @keytotruth.)

    Q. Several announcements have been made at E3, but first about the release date, please tell us the reason why it is deferred.

    Nomura: Because KHIII is a big title, we have continued to adjust various parts with their respective departments. Among this, New Year's Holidays restrictions would likely occur in terms of distribution and production, so it was hard to prepare a sufficient organization to release it worldwide. Plus, we would like to have the same timing with affiliates and overseas branch offices, almost releasing at the same time as Japan, so January was preferable and intentional. 
On the other hand, in terms of development progress, it was never a situation that I could afford. Based on these various circumstances, it eventually became a company decision. (Note: You can read Nomura's comments on this matter in the Mobile01, The Verge, and GNN interviews as well.)

    Q. A complex decision indeed. Well then, we will ask now about the trailer and the new information it revealed. Frozen was presented as a new world at last, right?

    Nomura: Here, this scene in progress that you see occur at the same time as the movie’s events. The Let It Go segment will appear too. In terms of battle, although Anna and Elsa do not join the party, the creature that Elsa has created with her magic, Marshmallow, will lend you its strength. In the snowy mountains, there is some exploration in the ice labyrinth prepared by Larxene.

    Q. A Pirate of the Caribbean world appeared too, it was astonishing!

    Nomura: About the world of Pirate of the Caribbean, we used the movie "At World’s End" as a base. This time I’d like to draw your attention to any element really, but I think that there are many things to discuss about. Starting with the battles in the ocean, there are scenes in which you can interact with the ship, participate to naval battles, riding on a Heartless and fight in the air etc. This world is made of land, sea and air, everything is seamlessly connected to the battle stage.
 There is also a fun part where you can pilot and navigate with a ship to explore and unravel islands. It’s a world where you can do anything.

    Q. In May there was a Media Preview event where people got to play the game, and it was exciting just free-running up walls and using special techniques in the middle of battle, of which there were many of them. It feels like it's becoming really fun.

    Nomura: The running mechanic I think is becoming something you have to "feel" to enjoy. During battles, depending on how Sora performs, something called "Situation Commands" will appear on the left of the screen. They are not like regular commands as they have a time limit and will stack up and it will be up to the player to decide when and how to use them. It's a system I really wanted to make a reality for this title.

    Q. I have seen that even 5 commands could be stacked up but since they have a time limit there's also the worry of using them before time runs out.

    Nomura: Well, you're free to just use them in a chain. Just using a lot of them one after another is a pretty amazing and powerful attack on its own. When you get used to it you'll just think "I'll start from this one", so even for people who are not good with action games can get a hang of it.

    Q. There's a scene from the trailer that's picking my curiosity. About Roxas' resurrection, it seems both Sora and the New Organization XIII want this to happen.

    Nomura: Specially Sora, who has a connection with Roxas, is working hard for that to happen. However, that's not something that will be answered anytime soon. (Note: According to Nomura, Roxas is the utmost secret for Kingdom Hearts III!)

    Q. I have something else I'd like to ask about. About what Larxene said about the "New Seven Hearts".

    Nomura: It's the new Seven Princesses from the next generation. It has to do with what Master Xehanort did in KH3D. Just in case the 7 Guardians of Light don't gather, they'd use the Seven Princesses. Those Seven Princesses are currently taking the place of the other princesses except for Kairi. There are 6 missing candidates; Rapunzel, Anna, Elsa and more are being targeted for that purpose.

    Q. A lot of time has passed since the first title of the series launched. It feels like the memories from its complicated story are starting to fade from some of the users who only played the numbered titles. Have you thought out any way so users can follow the story?

    Nomura: Well, there are a lots of characters and relationships. If we stopped to explain everything in the game, the story wouldn't move forward. So, we're making preparations in our official site for people who want to catch up. We're condensing all of the story into 5 "episodes" that will have Chirithy narrating the events to make it easier to understand. We will make it public shortly after E3 is done. After watching these movies, I hope you get to play the HD remasters and enjoy until the release of the game. Also, it's under consideration, but we're looking into adding this to the actual KHIII. (Note: You can read more about this recap video here.)

    Furthermore, he mentioned that there are no plans for a Kingdom Hearts III demo release: read all about it here.

    Are you excited to use Situation Commands in Kingdom Hearts III? Who do you think the new Princesses of Heart are (apart from Kairi)? Comment your thoughts below!

    Kingdom Hearts III releases on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019 in Japan, and January 29, 2019 to the rest of the world. You can now watch the latest Frozen trailer, Square Enix E3 Showcase trailer, and Pirates of the Caribbean trailer!